Skip to content

    Healthy Dogs

    Select An Article
    Font Size
    A
    A
    A

    Help for Overweight Dogs

    How to create a doggie diet for weight loss and good nutrition.
    (continued)

    Are You Making Your Dog Fat?

    Another, non-genetic reason for an overweight dog is more obvious: YOU, the owner, may be overindulging your pet, most likely with treats or people food.

    "Food is love, and people want to make their pets happy," Tams says. "Very often, it is not the dog’s official food that is causing the weight problem; it is all the additional treats or snacks between meals," Murray says.

    Portion Control Is Key

    Knowing the correct serving size of food for your overweight dog is imperative for success. Companies often place information on labels or include charts on their web sites. But because many variables, such as size, are factored into the equation, get advice from your veterinarian on how often and how much to feed your dog.

    Putting Your Dog on a Diet

    After you’ve verified that your furry friend needs to slim down, consider everything he eats on a daily basis. "Do an honest assessment, covering all treats and snacks, including those given by other family members, neighbors, dog sitters, and dog walkers," Murray says. "You may find all you need to do is cut these out."

    You don’t need to nix treats altogether. "Be realistic -- if you or your family likes to give them, it's unlikely that a no-treat policy will succeed," Murray says. "Choose healthy alternatives, such as veggies or rice cakes, and decide at the beginning of each day exactly how many the dog is allowed; put this amount in a bowl, and when they're gone, they're gone."

    Another tactic to try is reducing portions. Murray recommends immediately cutting daily food intake by 15% to 20% for a six- to eight-week period, then analyzing the results. Additionally, your veterinarian can calculate the exact amount of calories your pet needs per day to lose weight based on his current size, ideal body weight, energy level, and general health.

    Don’t Give In to Begging

    If your overweight dog whines and cries for more food, hold firm. "That causes a lot of owners to buckle," Tams says.

    Murray says: "Your dog will certainly whine if he knows that will get him more treats and snacks." If you’re serving the correct portion, more food will only contribute to weight issues.

    Next Article:

    Today on WebMD

    bulldog in party hat
    Breeds with longevity
    Doberman Pinscher Clipped Ears
    The facts about ear cropping and tail docking.
     
    dog with duck in mouth
    Which are considered smartest?
    boxer dog
    What are their health issues?
     
    Pit bull looking up
    Article
    Pets: Is My Dog Normal
    Slideshow
     
    Dog scratching behind ear
    Slideshow
    dog catching frisbee
    Slideshow
     
    Dog Breed RMQ
    Quiz
    Lady owner feeding dog
    Slideshow
     
    pooldle
    Slideshow
    bulldog in party hat
    Slideshow