You noticed that your dog is rather plump. If he continues to gain weight, his health may suffer and eventually may result is some unwanted health issues. So you decided to help your puppy lose weight.
But what can be done? Here are 8 tips you may find useful to help your dog lose some weight.
Measure your dog’s food
It sounds simple but most of us just fill up the bowl. Instead use a measuring cup. If after two weeks your dog hasn’t lost any weight decrease the serving amount by 25%. In other words if the dog usually gets 1 cup then serve 3/4 of a cup.
Those big sad eyes just beg you to reach into the treat jar. If you do. Remember to decrease the amount at dinner by the same amount. Break larger treats into smaller portions. Another option is to give the dog’s regular kibble as a treat.
Make your dog feel full
Some dogs need to have their bellies full or they think they haven’t been fed. Add no-salt, canned green beans to their meal to make them think they’ve been fed more.
Use clicker instead of treats
Change over to clicker training from treat training. Dogs need to know when they’ve done a good job. Using food as reward works well, but can add up to too much extra food.
When teaching new commands use a clicker at the same time you offer the food reward. Eventually only offer the clicker to let your dog know he’s done a good job.
Use healthy snack options
If you use peanut butter in a bone or toy, switch to low-fat peanut butter. Instead of stuffing the toy, just smear a bit inside the toy where the dog has to work to get at it.
Celery is low calorie, has lots of vitamins and minerals, and is crunchy for your dog to chew.
Raw cucumbers, string beans and snow peas are other snack options.
Go easy on carrots, they contain more sugar than these other veggies.
While apples, pears, and oranges are fine for dogs, they are higher calorie. Go slowly introducing fresh veggies to avoid tummy problems.
Mash a banana with low-fat, no sugar added, plain yogurt. Freeze in ice cube trays for a healthy snack that takes your dog a while to eat.
Beware of overfeeding your dog
Ignore the directions on the dog food package label as to how much you should feed your dog based on their weight. The portions are more than generous. Remember pet food manufactures want to sell lots of food, so their suggestions may be more food than your dog needs.
Don’t overcompensate by giving your dog more food, if you’ve bought “fat dog” calorie-restricted dog food. That defeats the purpose of buying the weight loss food.
If your dog balks at eating the calorie-restricted dog food, warm up a little no or low-sodium broth and pour it over the food.
If you have more than one dog, watch them while they’re eating. One little piggy pup gulps down his dinner and then goes over to his “sister” pit bull, nudges her out of the way to finish her dinner.
Do not feed your dog with human food
Don’t feed your dog from the table or allow other family members to do so. It teaches the dog to beg and you don’t have control over how much others may be feeding Fido.
Cut out all people food. We add unnecessary salt, sugar, and fat to our food because we like the way it tastes. Dogs don’t need that added salt, fat, and sugar.
Exercise your dog
Add a walk or romp in the park. More exercise means more calories burned and that means weight loss. As your dog gains muscles from the extra exercise, he’ll burn more fat. The walk is good exercise for you as well and gives you some extra quality time.
Instead of giving your dog a treat, give him some of your time. Play a quick game. Give a tummy rub or just tell him he’s good.