Seeing your furry friend gain a few pounds may seem harmless at first, however it should definitely not be ignored. Over time obesity in dogs can cause serious health issues! Many pet owners struggle with figuring out how to help a dog lose weight. Animals often have food cravings that can be hard to say no to, especially since you want to keep your dog happy. Luckily, if you’re even asking yourself how to go about helping your dog, you’re on the right track!
1. Reduce Their Calorie Intake
As you might have guessed, figuring out how to get your dog to lose weight is similar to how you would approach human weight loss. In the end, a lot of the aspects that go into a dog losing weight comes down to their food intake. Controlling and reducing the number of calories your dog consumes, can help them start losing pounds at a healthy and regular pace. You can figure out how many calories your dog should have by consulting with a vet near you or using an online calculator.
2. Reduce the Number of Unhealthy Treats
We all love seeing our dog’s faces light up when we offer them a treat. Unfortunately, many dog owners end up being too liberal with giving out treats. This ends up being little more than the junk-food equivalent for dogs, causing weight gains over time. So, if you’re trying to figure out how to help a dog lose weight, a good starting point would be simply reducing the number of treats that you give out.
While you should reduce the amount of unhealthy dog treats you are giving your dog, this doesn’t mean you should eliminate treats altogether. In fact, if you replace regular treats with healthy options such as carrots, celery, or green beans, you may find your dog is not only just as happy but also much more responsive to a healthy weight loss diet for dogs.
3. Give Protein-Rich Food
Although dogs are omnivores, they aren’t designed to live on a high-carbohydrate diet. Therefore, giving your dog too many carbs can cause him to gain weight. A crucial dog weight loss principle you should follow is switching to a protein-rich dog diet, as it can help build lean muscle instead of forcing the body to convert the carbs into fat.
4. Reduce Portions
A simple yet incredibly useful way to help your dog lose weight is reducing the size of their portions. You can keep feeding your dog at regular intervals, but by measuring and reducing the amount of food that you provide, you can help your dog lose weight without needing to take drastic measures.
5. Get Outdoors
Some owners that ask, “How can I help my dog lose weight?” don’t take into account the activity needs of their canine friend. The truth is, some dog breeds are extremely active by nature and thus require dedication by their owners to take them out for lengthy walks. If this is the case with your dog, it may be that you’re not providing him or her with enough physical stimulation. The quickest answer to your needs might be to take more time every day to exercise together. This also has the added benefit of keeping you active as well!
6. Play Games
Dogs are incredibly playful animals, so you should use this to your advantage when figuring out how to get a dog to lose weight. For instance, if your dog is of a hunting breed, fetch games work well, especially in the water. For scent-tracking dogs, you could try using puzzle toys that stimulate their senses, and for terriers, tugging games usually produce great excitement. No matter which games work best, what matters most is that you’re both having fun. If they are engaged and energetic in the activity chances are this a sure thing.
7. Pets Best Health Insurance
When trying to figure out how to help a dog lose weight, there are many avenues available for finding the right direction. Every Pets Best policy includes access to a 24/7 pet helpline to help answer your pet weight loss questions! Our complete dog insurance plans can help provide peace of mind when it comes to your pet’s unexpected accidents and illnesses.