February 15, 2022
5 Ways To Prevent Canine Obesity
Dogs are loving, faithful, and cute little champs that can quickly bring warmth to someone’s household. However, these furry buddies, responsive to genuine affection, may likely receive far too much attention from their owners.
You might think you ought to give these endearing animals as much food as they want simply because they deserve it. But as we all know too well, too much of a good thing can be bad. And one common outcome of too much pampering is canine obesity.
Obesity-Related Health Problems
Obese dogs have a higher risk of developing diseases like high blood pressure, diabetes, arthritis, respiratory problems, and cancer. For dog breeds with long and low bodies like Dachshunds, excess weight makes it painful for them to sit or walk. On the other hand, for bulldogs and pugs, being overweight causes respiratory problems. Generally, overweight dogs have a shorter life span.
As obesity is a health risk for canines as much as it is for humans, you need to prevent this by following the ways listed below:
- Visit A Veterinarian
Keeping a dog healthy and happy doesn’t necessarily mean letting them eat as much food as possible. Choosing the right dog food and giving your dog the amount suited for his needs are both critical for proper nutrition.
Visit a veterinarian to know how much to feed your dog. Your vet can give you an estimate of your dog’s daily calorie requirements, based on his body condition and usual activities. He can recommend a specific diet to prevent obesity and other diseases.
Furthermore, the vet may prescribe a feeding schedule for your dog’s weight management. For most dogs, feeding twice a day is recommended, but for others, eating three smaller meals per day works better.
- Limit Treats
Although you may be strictly following the balanced diet prescribed by your vet for your dog, you defeat the purpose if you give it plenty of high-calorie treats in between meals. Treats should not comprise more than 10% of your dog’s daily caloric needs.
Instead of giving highly processed treats, try giving your dog healthy treats such as green beans, baby carrots, cucumbers, and broccoli. You may also give fruits but go easy on apples and bananas as these have high sugar content.
- Avoid Giving Table Scraps
You may think you’re finally making good progress with your dog’s healthy diet. But one thing you might not be aware of is your kids giving their furry buddy table scraps during dinner time.
Giving table scraps to an obese dog is a no-no as it could contribute to unwanted weight gain. Additionally, it encourages bad behaviour like begging at the dinner table.
Although dogs have a higher metabolism than humans, they may pack additional pounds from high-fat table scraps. Also, food with garlic, onion, and chives is toxic to your dog and may cause gastrointestinal problems.
- Walk Your Dog
Like humans, dogs benefit from moderate exercise like walking. Your dogs may seem hyperactive, but it may not be enough to burn calories. Some studies show that dogs can burn 64 calories after walking for an hour.
Every morning, consider taking your cute dog outside for a walk for 30 minutes to an hour. But if you get tired of walking around the neighbourhood, you may consider going on a nature walk in Australia with your furry friend. You’re not only keeping your dog from getting obese but also letting it enjoy the outdoors.
- Try A Training Program
You may also introduce your dog to more strenuous exercise like running or doing an obstacle course to help it lose weight or maintain its ideal weight. But have your vet examine your dog before starting an exercise program.
Consider your dog’s age if you decide to run with your dog. A dog has to be at least one year old before it’s safe for him to jog on concrete or asphalt.
An obstacle course that requires your dog to leap and go through tunnels would help your dog to expend energy and improve metabolic rate, ultimately burning more calories. Be on the lookout though if this activity causes your dog to pant too much. Activities like this are fun and exciting and allow you to bond with your dog.
Dogs are indeed man’s best friend. They are loyal, reliable, and loving. You may want to give them as much love as possible to reciprocate the warmth they bring to your life. Be careful not to spoil them though as it may backlash eventually.
You may think that dogs with extra weight look more adorable. But just like humans, too much weight can put their health at risk. As you wouldn’t want that to happen, follow the tips listed above to take better care of your canine companions.