Has your dog’s weight slowly been creeping up without you noticing?
It’s thought that a third of dogs in the UK are overweight and if your dog is one of them, it’s vital you take action now.
The first thing you need to do is make an appointment for your dog to be weighed at your vets. They may offer free weigh-in clinics you can attend. Once your vet has told you how much weight your dog needs to lose you can put together an action plan with achievable targets. They might suggest you have fortnightly or monthly weigh-ins to help you stay on track.
PDSA vet Sean Wensley, confessed to The Guardian what he believes is causing dogs to be obese in the UK. He said: “With feeding, we see two general problems. One is overfeeding an otherwise good quality diet. Owners don’t follow feeding guidelines – they guess what’s the right amount or they feed on demand, when they think their pet is hungry. The second thing we see is people feeding their pets treats throughout the day – takeaways, cheese, chips, crisps – often in small amounts, but pets really do struggle to burn off those extra calories.”
If you want to make sure your dog is getting the nutrients he or she needs, it's important that you choose a high quality food. Weighing out the food to make sure you’re not giving them too much is a good idea. Trying to not give in to their puppy dogs eyes will be hard at first but you need to stay strong and not give them more than they should be getting.
You also need to check that you’re taking them for long enough walks each day, as different breeds of dogs have different requirements. For instance, a Siberian Husky has been designed to run for several hours a day so a quick twenty-minute stroll around the block isn’t going to cut it. Whereas, a pug or another toy dog would be quite happy with a walk of this length. Try not to use the excuse ‘my dog doesn’t like walks, he’s happy to just run around the garden’ as exercise is essential if you want your dog to have a healthy body and mind.