Some dog owners over feed their dogs. They think that their dogs will automatically stop eating when they are full. Sadly, this is not the case.
Just like humans, all dogs, regardless of their age, are prone to overeating. Eating will cause an emotional high in dogs that motivates them to keep feeding even when they have enough.
Many dog owners do not realize this, especially if they have puppies. Many people think that all puppies are supposed to be round and cuddly. However, when you compare the puppies, you will realize that some weigh more than normal.
Why dogs put on weight
You need to take care of your dog’s diet early in his life while he is still a puppy. This will prevent health problems later in his life. As dogs grow older, they tend to slow down and are not as active as during their younger years.
With lesser physical activity, it will be easier for them to accumulate some fat and put on weight. As they grow older, they do not need as much calories as before.
Their nutritional needs will change over time. Unfortunately, some owners continue to feed them the same way with the same amount of food.
Senior dogs are most vulnerable
This problem is more severe among senior dogs. They are the easiest to gain weight. As they get older, their joints are not as efficient as before.
Moreover, with the added aches and pains that come with old age, the intensity of their physical activities will be greatly reduced. They will not be able to run, jump and play as when they were much younger.
If you dog is getting overweight, you need to do something about it to get rid of the extra fat. Your dog will definitely feel much better and have a longer life if his body weight is maintained at the healthy range.
Helping your dog to lose weight
When helping your dog to lose weight, it is important to pay attention to feeding him the correct portion size. Your dog should get his food in portion controlled sizes which should be adjusted according to his nutritional needs as he grows older.
Find out the correct portion size
To know what is the correct portion size to feed your dog, you can follow the guidelines provided by the food manufacturer. You should also consult with your veterinarian.
Control the treats
Another thing to look out for is the amount of treats you give to your dog in addition to his regular meals. This is especially so for adult and senior dogs.
If your dog is still overweight when his feeding portion is already controlled, then the problem could be in the treats and his snacking. You would need to cut these down. But, do not eliminate totally.
Reduce the calories
In order to choose the right diet for your dog, you need to determine his calorie needs. To do this, you need to factor in his current weight against the ideal weight, his activity level and his age.
You may need to change his food to one that has a lower calorie content.