While a slightly, or even very, overweight dog might seem funny and cute, the truth is that being overweight can endanger your pup’s health and put him or her at risk of suffering a range of health problems. Fortunately, there are a number of things you can do to monitor your best friend’s health and help him or her lose weight if need be.
How to check your pet’s weight
There are several ways you can check your pet’s weight. The most obvious is to use a scale. If you have a small dog, you can weight yourself first, then pick up your pet and subtract your weight from your combined weight to find out the weight of your pet. If you have a bigger dog, most veterinary offices are happy to let people come in just to use their scales. Additionally, you can do a spot check on your dog by feeling for his or her ribs. If your pet is at a healthy weight, you should be able to easily locate / feel the dog’s ribs, with just a thin layer of fat separating their skin from these bones. If you have trouble feeling the dog’s ribcage, chances are the pet is overweight.
Helping your dog lose weight with exercise
One of the best ways to help your pup lose weight is to keep them active! Adding a run, a long walk, a session of fetch, or a hike to their daily routine can be a great and safe way to help your pup reach a healthy weight. It’s likely you will notice other behavioral benefits of working out your pup as well. If you don’t have the time to give your dog at least 30-60 minutes of activity every day, consider working with a professional dog walker who can help make sure your pet gets the exercise he or she needs.
Helping your dog lose weight with food
It’s hard to say “no” to a sweet puppy face begging for food, but unfortunately, this is how many people end up over-feeding their dogs. Talk to your vet about how much of your chosen food your pup should actually eat, and stick to that. Additionally, some dog food brands offer specific blends that are targeted towards dogs that are trying to lose weight. You should also make sure you take it easy on the treats – while delicious, treats like rawhides and bully sticks have a lot of fat, and giving these to your dog too frequently can contribute to his or her weight problems.
Call Walk! ATX to make sure your pups get the exercise they need!
At Walk! ATX, we are committed to helping make sure your dog is as happy and healthy as possible. Call us today at (512) 655-9557 to learn more about the full range of services our Austin dog walkers are ready to offer!