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Dog Weight Loss

Dog weight loss can truly become a matter of life or death for your dog. At the very least, it is a serious quality of life issue. Overweight dogs are putting a strain on their entire bodies, from nose to tail. Like an overweight person, the respiratory, skeletal, circulatory and muscular systems of an overweight dog have to work extra hard just to perform daily. And, as with overweight people, the cause is usually too much food and not enough exercise. Maintaining proper portion control and providing your pet with daily dog exercise can help with successful dog weight loss.

To start a dog weight loss program, first be sure you know how much he is eating each day. This may seem simple enough, but consider the fact that different family members may be feeding him different amounts each day. Does he get regular snacks each day? Is yours a busy household where no one is sure if anyone else fed the dog, and he may actually be eating more than one dinner each night? Chances are, he isn’t complaining! Read the recommended portion size on the food bag and be sure everyone who feeds the dog sticks to that. Limit or even eliminate snacks for your dog, at least until you have his weight under control.

You may wish to talk to your vet about whether you should switch your overweight dog to a special diet that is lower in calories and higher in fiber to help with dog weight loss. As with any dietary change, you should switch foods gradually, allowing your dog’s digestive system to get used to the new food. Start by adding a small amount of the new food to his existing food, and gradually increase the new food while decreasing the old. This gradual introduction will benefit your dog’s system and also help make him less likely to refuse the new food.

Limiting food intake to proper portions is an important first step in dog weight loss. This only looks at half of the problem, however. You also need to make sure you are increasing the dog’s activity level to combat his weight problem. As with humans, if your dog is very overweight or out of shape, have her checked by her veterinarian before beginning an exercise program. When you first start out, keep your workout sessions short; a 10-15 minute walk followed by some fetching is a good way to start. You can gradually extend your walks and play sessions, and incorporate whatever activities are fun for your dog and you.

Daily dog exercise for an average adult dog should involve about 20-45 minutes per day of activity. This can be split up into two sessions, especially when you are just starting a new dog exercise program.

Maintaining proper portion control and increasing physical activity are two keys to achieving dog weight loss. An overweight dog is susceptible to health risks such as joint problems and diabetes. Helping your dog maintain his optimum fitness level helps him live a longer, healthier life.