Weight-Loss Tips for Dogs!
Did you know that as little as 5 extra pounds can put your pup’s health at risk??
Before beginning ANY weight-loss regimen, have your dog checked out by a veterinarian!
- Many a dog has started a diet and has failed to lose weight because the diet wasn’t the issue, a medical illness was!
- Some illnesses like hypothyroidism and hyperadrenocorticism (Cushing’s Disease) can cause dogs to gain weight
- With an exam, we can also asses your pet’s condition and determine their ideal weight, along with a plan to help your pet fit into that teeny swimsuit next summer :)!
- Be cautious! Feeding your pet too little can also have serious consequences, just like with humans!
- Usual (and safe)weight-loss goal=3-5% body weight loss per month
- Split his/her total daily diet into several “mini-meals” and offer it multiple times a day to keep him/her happy
How to correctly change your pet’s food:
- Should be done gradually over a minimum of 1 week
- Initially, offer ¼ diet food and ¾ regular food for 2 days
- Next; ½ diet food and ½ regular food for another 2 days
- Then ¾ diet food and ¼ regular food for 2-3 days
- Finally, offer diet food only
- Ways to increase palatability (yumminess)
- Warm their food up! You can soak it in warm water or pop in the microwave for a few seconds if it’s wet food
- Add ketchup or oregano
- Add an Omega-3 Fatty acid like fish oil
- Add salmon juice
- Have some fun! Set aside playtime with your pup for 10-15 minutes twice a day
- Average dog walk is done at 20-25 minutes/mile with numerous stops
- Walking for weight-loss should be brisk! Ideally at 12-15 minutes/mile. Especially on the “out” part, only allow stops on the return home if possible
- Ideally, you should break out into a light sweat
- Dogs are built to reach top-speed quickly and without risking injury, so warm-ups aren’t needed! And besides, most people aren’t aiming for an all-out sprint when walking Fluffy
- Keep the leash close—only 2-4 feet from your body and start off at a brisk pace!
- Don’t stop! Keep that pup moving! Use lots of encouragement!
- If your doggy refuses to walk, return home and place him/her in a quiet space--somewhere where they’d be without your attention--and try again later