Identifying and Treating Chocolate Toxicity in Dogs and Cat For humans, Halloween is a time for...
Tips and Tricks to Keep Your Poochie at a Healthy Weight
Let’s be real. It’s not hard to tell when someone’s overweight. A quick glance usually does the trick.
That’s not to throw shade at anyone out there struggling with weight issues. If anything, society is just as much at fault for hyping up energy-dense junk foods and worshipping a workaholic culture that gets in the way of leading a fit lifestyle.
As unfortunate as it is, the same holds true for our furry friends. Well, except that the case for canines tends to be much worse.
How did it come to this?
Hoomans’ weight problem seems to have direct consequences on doggos.
Think junk food, for example. While such a concept isn’t a thing within the world of canines, pet food manufacturers have been swapping out protein and fat with carbohydrates as the dominant nutrient in their products. And if there’s anything we know about canine diet (hyperlink to Ultimate Canine Diet), it’s that carb-loading leads to grave health issues ranging from obesity to diabetes.
Physical activity plays a significant role too. As owners go about their increasingly busier lives, helping their furry friend maintain an adequate activity level conceivably moves to the back burner. Combined with the issue of a carb-laden diet, there seems to be an eerie resemblance between the factors driving the raging obesity epidemic for both species.
How to tell if your poochie is overweight
You might have noticed a bit of a theme going on around here.
That’s right. Among others, weight is an area where hoomans and canines converge. And when it comes to gauging whether your pooch is in shape or not, similar principles apply. Here are certain tells you can look for to better make out your pup’s weight range:
- Love Handles
Have a good look at your poochie’s belly when she rolls over for a rub. If whittled-down waist and discernible rib cage are what you get, cheers - she’s in good shape. Vice-versa, all you see is a noticeable tuck-up hiding the ribs? It’s time you took her for a jog.
- Endurance and Stamina
Obesity often comes with respiratory issues. So, if you find your poochie going out of breath a couple of minutes into a walk or display reduced levels of fitness all around, consider it as a telltale sign of being overweight.
At the end of the day, the only way to determine whether your pup is at a healthy weight is to get an assessment from a qualified vet. Particularly if any of these apply to your furry friend. You have all the reason to seek professional help on her behalf.
Having trouble finding a trustworthy vet? Dr. Tail has you covered. Get all your questions answered today by a certified vet for free.
Help your poochie shed off a few pounds
The best way to treat obesity will depend on the results of the assessment. Regardless of your pup’s size or breed, however, there are across-the-board lifestyle adjustments you could help her make to reach a healthier weight.
- Regular Physical Activity
Dogs need way more exercise than you might think. The smallest of the breeds need at least half an hour of daily physical activity. Bigger dogs need up to two hours every day.
The key here is to draw up a workout regimen your poochie can stick to. Whether that’d mean going on jogs or simply playing fetch, you should set aside some time to get some work in to help your pup burn some extra calories.
- Healthy Eating Habits
Diet is just as important as getting your dog on a workout regimen. After all, what’s the point of burning calories if your dog gains them right back?
Here’s the thing. When it comes to weight loss, exercise and diet go hand in hand. And it’s up to you to make sure your pup is eating the right amount of food at the right time.
A good place to start is switching out commercial meals and treats with low-carb and low-calorie alternatives. Gradually reduce portion size from there until your poochie returns to a healthy weight.
- Regular Checkup
Being fit isn’t necessarily the same thing as being healthy. That’s why even the fittest of individuals pay doctors a visit every year for a checkup.
The point is, just because your poochie has made strides doesn’t mean she’s at a healthy weight. The only way to know for sure is to bring your furry friend to a vet for wellness exams. Plus, you’ll come out with a wealth of knowledge on where she stands, precisely how much exercise and calories she needs to maintain a healthy weight, and other gems of insights to further improve her overall well-being.
Keep your chin up
The path to weight loss is challenging. You’ll have to see your best friend suffer at times, and you’ll be tempted to give in to her demands.
No matter how hard it gets, keep your chin up. Because at the end of the day, you’re doing this for your furry friend’s sake, and what you’re doing will ultimately lead to a lifetime of health and happiness.
* Photo on Canva