Pet weight gain is a very common issue that is a major factor in many more health issues in pets. It increases the risk of osteoarthritis, heart disease, high blood pressure, respiratory issues and shortens our pets’ life expectancy.
If your dog is overweight there are specific diets and weight loss recipes that can help your dog to lose weight. Changes in the diet should also be implemented slowly over a period of time so that your dog’s digestive tract has time to get used to the new foods.
signs your pet is overweight
- Loss of energy and fitness – not wanting to chase or play or go for walks
- Shortness of breath and/or panting
- Sleeping more than usual
- Difficulty getting up after lying down
Why is my pet gaining weight?
The main cause of pet weight gain is a poorly balanced diet. Many owners do not pay attention to the recommended daily amount of food printed on the packaging of their pet food and easily overfeed their pets on a daily basis, this paired with treats is guaranteed to make your pet gain unwanted weight. Human food is not dog food. Table scraps will pile on the pounds in your animal faster than you’d think!
Lack of exercise is another component to pet weight gain. Our pets, much like ourselves, need a minimum of 60 minutes of exercise on a daily basis. Daily recommended exercise varies with breeds. Physical activity is necessary to break down fat in our pets bodies.
No animal ever went hungry on purpose. Leave the pet food in their dish and they will eat it provided the owner follows a strict regime and doesn’t feed them anything other than what is recommended!
Be strong – Don’t give in to your pet begging for food with puppy dog eyes
Some animals may already be on a well-balanced diet and get plenty of exercise and yet still gain weight, this may be down to a medical condition and should see a veterinary practitioner for more information.
How do I get my dog from fat to fit?
Eat less and move more. Reduce your pets food by the amount recommended to your veterinary professional and increase their amount of exercise on a daily basis in a gradual manor as to not cause illness or injury. If your pet suffers with osteoarthritis then a non-weight bearing activity like swimming will help a lot in their weight loss journey and feel good on their joints too. Swimming strengthens the respiratory system, works majority of your dog’s muscles and is great fun , add a ball to the mix and your pet will have endless fun and exercise.
Healthy treats. instead of shop bought treats that are full of salt and have a major part to play in pet obesity , change your animals treats to something better for them and make them work for their treats. Make a game out of it – make it interesting
Change their diet. Once you change your dogs diet to a weight loss diet and cut out all human foods, the excess weight will shed from them faster than you’d think.When changing from their previous diet to a new one , it is important to wean your dog off the old food and onto the new one to keep them from getting any tummy upsets , vomiting , diarrhoea or just a disliking to the food. Use the following ratios over a week or two;