Admitting Your Dog is Fat Is Just the Beginning… 

So you have finally admitted to yourself that your dog might not be just pleasingly plump.  He may, indeed, be headed towards (or firmly entrenched in) obesity.  What are you to do?  How can you make it right?

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One thing you know for sure – you MUST get the excess weight off of your pooch.  It isn’t an excuse that your dog is older, or lazier or sleepier or a couch potato.  Regardless of any of these things, the weight comes off the same way (and the same health hazards apply).  Since you have decided that no, you don’t want your dog to die years before his time, here are a few easy things that you can do to get him back in fighting shape!

  • Cut back on your dog’s food.  Sure, you might get some puppy dog eyes, a little begging and whining, but, in reality, it is likely you were feeding too much to begin with.  Love your dog enough to ignore their begging and sad eyes and to only feed them what is appropriate to get them to the correct weight and then maintain that weight.
  • Free feeding is bad.  Plain and simple. Bad.  Not only does it mean your dog has access to way too much food, but it can also be dangerous.  One of the key ways to know if something is amiss with your dog is watching their appetite.  If you don’t know how much they are eating because you always keep their bowl full, you lose that first warning signal that something could be very wrong.
  • If you are a raw feeder and you are trying to find the right amount for an adult dog, start at 2% of their OPTIMAL body weight.  Not 2% of what they weigh overweight!  That would be counterintuitive.  If you are a kibble feeder – don’t follow the recommendations on the back of the bag.  They want you to feed as much food as possible so that you will buy more food.  Those amounts will make just about ANY dog fat.  Reduce it.
  • Treats count.  If you give loads of treats, you need to either cut back, find something less caloric or simply reduce their food intake contingent on the amount of treats you are giving.  That being said, feeding treats instead of actual food isn’t always the best course of action. So perhaps you should feed less treats on most days and adjust meal amounts on the days when you are using lots of treats, for instance during training sessions.
  • If you feed raw, you needn’t worry about artificial ingredients, fillers, sweeteners and the like.  You know exactly what you are feeding.  If you feed kibble, spend some time reading and understanding ingredients.  You are possibly giving your dog a food filled with carbohydrates and sugars.  Not good for weight loss.  Bite the bullet and feed a kibble with more food and less gunk.  This goes for treats as well.  Try finding some all meat treats – lean and healthy.

While food is one part of the slim down equation, it is only a part…stay tuned….

Coming Up – 5 Ways To Get Your Dog Moving

How would you change your dog’s eating to help him slim down? Leave your answer in the comment section below.