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Portly Pooches: Tips for Helping your Dog Lose Weight

Is your dog looking a bit fluffier than usual? It could be that he’s packed on a few extra pounds due to overeating and lack of activity. Even though you may love him just as he is those extra pounds can increase his risk of developing a variety of health problems including diabetes and arthritis. There are a variety simple steps you can take to help your favorite canine lose weight. Keep in mind that an overweight pet is an unhealthy one. Here are some practical ways to help your overweight dog shed those excess pounds:

If you have a portly pooch, there are things you can do to help get him back to a healthy weight.

Help your dog lose weight: Harness the power of movement

Yes, exercise is just as important for a dog as it is for a human. That’s why you need to make a commitment to walk your canine best friend on a daily basis. Try waking up thirty minutes earlier in the morning to take a brisk outdoor stroll with your dog. If you do this on a regular basis you should start to see those excess pounds come off of your overweight pet. As a bonus, you’ll feel better too.

Help you dog lose weight: Eliminate table food and doggy bags

It’s hard to look into the pleading eyes of a canine and not be tempted to give him a nibble of table food. But those little nibbles add up to significant calories which can pack unhealthy pounds onto your pet. The high fat content of some table food can also increase your dog’s risk of pancreatitis which can be fatal. If you must give your dog a human food treat, give him a bite of fresh fruit. Ask your vet what fruits you can give your overweight pet. Certain fruits such as grapes can be toxic to canines.

Help your dog lose weight: Don’t use food as treats or rewards

When you want to treat your dog, resist the urge to use food. Buy some dog safe rubber bones from your local pet store and use these to use as rewards and to keep your dog occupied. The gnawing action will be good for his teeth and the lack of calories will be good for his figure.

Help your dog lose weight: Hide the trash can

Don’t allow your dog access to the trash can where he can potentially help himself to discarded human food. Not only is this unhealthy in terms of calories, your dog could also injure himself on an open can.

Remember that those extra pounds increase the risk of other health problems.

Help your dog lose weight: Cut back on his daily food intake

Start by decreasing your dog’s food intake by fifteen percent. If after a week you aren’t seeing weight loss, cut back another five percent. This should allow your overweight pet to lose weight at a safe and steady pace particularly when combined with exercise. Avoid the temptation to switch to a food designed for overweight dogs since these foods are frequently lacking in necessary vitamins and minerals.

If the above interventions don’t result in weight loss, you’ll want to have your overweight pet checked out by his veterinarian. Certain medical conditions such as an underactive thyroid can cause your dog to gain weight. A simple blood test is all your dog may need to rule out this condition.

Slimming down your overweight dog can reap the rewards of a longer and healthier life for your pet which means many more happy days together.