Obesity in dogs
Obesity in dogs is an increasingly common issue. So many dogs have problems with their weight, but the good news is that very often, a minor change to how you feed them can make all the difference.
Do you treat too much?
In my mind this has to be the biggest culprit and it's something I have spoken about so often. There is not a dog around that likes me, but I believe that 99% of the time we treat our dogs too much with food items. Generally, it does not cause too much of an issue but if your dog is overweight it needs to be looked at. As with ‘human food’ there are good treats and bad treats. If you are giving your dog a very high calorific treat a simple change in treats can ease or sometimes even solve the problem.
How do I know if my treats are high in calories?
That’s a great question and it should not be as hard as it is. Beware of treats packed with grains and high fat items. On the packet of a dog treat it will say fat or often crude fat. If you want your dog to lose weight, we do not want that figure to be too high.
Am I feeding too much?
It was only last week I was reading another article (there are loads out there) which was about people feeding too much to their dog because they were following the feeding guideline. The issue with a feeding guide is that it is just that, it’s a guide. The same as every one of the same weight does not eat exactly the same amount of food, this follows for dogs. The issue is that it’s much harder for a dog to tell you that they are full and very often they won’t do that and carry on eating regardless. But you know your dog better than anyone so don’t just feed the feeding guide and think that is right.
One simple sign of a dog overeating
Every single day we have someone come in with a ‘fussy dog’ and although fussy dogs do exist, they are not as common as people think. Normally it’s just very slightly overfeeding. Often not enough to see a big change in weight but it is enough for them to go off their food. The pattern that often will happen is a dog will eat well for 2-3 days and then does not seem bothered or does not eat at all for another 2-3 days. Then after that they eat well for 2-3 days and then go off there food again for 2-3 days and this pattern repeats. One thing that can sort this is to reduce the amount you are giving everyday and very often that will sort it. So, if your dog is following this type of pattern or appears to be ‘fussy’ they’re maybe just getting too many calories.
Feed to the weight you want the dog to be
This may sound obvious but it’s often something that is overlooked. Often people will feed their dog more and more as they put on weight. This just makes the problem worse. The best thing to do is feed your dog to the weight you want them to be.
Are their foods out there that can help?
Yes. There are lots of foods that can help if your dog is overweight. They will often be lower in fat then general foods, which can help gradually reduce the weight of you dog. If you follow this link you can see some of the foods that we stock which are can help with weight loss.
Having said that I am a big fan of just reducing the food you currently give to your dog and trying that for a period before changing their diet.
As I have said, overweight dogs are a growing issue (no pun intended) but it can be a simple one for you to deal with effectively. Try some of our tips above; I'm sure they will help.