Get Your Dog Down To A Healthy Weight

A healthy dog is a thin dog. Unfortunately obesity in dogs in a major health problem in pets. Food is a primary motivator for most dogs and the more the better. But more food isn’t good for your dog. Canines are carnivores. Most carnivores eat until there isn’t anything left to eat. That works if you’re a wolf and you’ve just brought down a deer. It could be several days or a week before you get anything much else to eat.

Other members of your pack may be competing with you for a place at the “table,” so to speak. Stuffing yourself with as much as you can hold makes sense. It isn’t easy helping your dog lose weight but you can do it.
That same instinct is what drives domesticated dogs to overeat. They don’t know how much is good for them so they keep eating until there isn’t anything left. There are even dogs who have had to be taken to the emergency clinic because they’ve eaten an entire sheet cake and their stomachs are literally ready to burst.

Check with your vet for the right amount of food for your dog based on his weight (the dog’s not the vet’s) age and activity levels. The amounts suggested on dog food packages may or may not be accurate. Just because it says that 2 dry cupfuls a day is what a 20 pound dog should be eating that doesn’t mean it’s the right amount of food for your dog. Pet food companies are in the business to make money so they want you to buy as much dog food as possible.

Measure the food by a cup, don’t just dump it in the bowl figuring it’s close enough. After several weeks check your dog to see if he’s gaining or losing weight by feeling his ribs or weighing him. Many vets will welcome the opportunity to help you weight your pet every few weeks or so without charge.

Make sure any snacks or treats are included in what you feed the dog. Just like humans, dogs can gain weight because they snack too much. Put the day’s daily snack ration in a plastic bag so you won’t be tempted to overfeed. Raw veggies and fruits make good snacks (for both you and your dog). Slice raw carrots, cucumbers, apples and so forth to be at the ready for snack time.

If you and your vet have decided your pooch needs to peel off some pounds, consider supplementing his reduced amount of food with string beans. Canned strings beans work well. Look for the no added salt variety. Add the string beans to his supper so his tummy feels full.
Of course whenever you change a dog’s diet go slowly to avoid digestive problems.

Help your dog lose weight. Keep your dog healthy and at the right weight. BOLA TANGKAS
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