Slimming Down an Overweight Pooch

Photo: Filipe Varela

Is your dog developing a bit of a belly? Overweight dogs are more common than we think, and canine obesity introduces a series of health concerns including diabetes, heart disease, lung disorders, high blood pressure, and more. Helping your dog lose weight and get healthy isn't impossible—all it takes is dedication, patience and consistency from you. Check out our tips below for helping your pup slim down and get on his way to being a healthy, happy pooch again.

Reset Your Dog's Metabolism
Just like human diets, starting a canine diet begins with hitting the reset button. Take your pooch to the vet and have her evaluate your dog's overall health in order to suggest a specific reduced diet for your dog. A reduction in quantity and caloric intake will be a must, and figuring out exactly how much your dog should eat to get healthy again should be a personalized recommendation from your vet. In this same conversation, you should also ask your vet what types of foods your dog should focus on as well as avoid. Once you start the new dietary plan for your pup, refrain from giving him any additional treats and snacks—instead, reward him with physical affection like extended playtime, cuddles, and rubs.

Hit the Ground Running
Make sure your dog walks between a 1/4 mile (smaller dogs) to 1/2 mile (larger dogs) a day to start off. If your dog is severely overweight and has joint problems from a long period of under-activity, try starting her off with swimming. Getting your dog to swim will be great cardio and will also be gentle on her joints and muscles, preventing any injuries from developing. Exercise with your dog consistently every day and try to push them a little bit further each day.

Make Recovery Bonding Time
Your pooch is going to be sore after exercising, so try your hand at massaging his legs and back, and in general, giving him an extra bit of love as encouragement. This positive reinforcement will not only speed up his body's recovery time, it will also help you bond with him and give him the support he needs through this process of becoming healthy again.

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Published on by Beatrix Chan.

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