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It’s a question that many of us ask ourselves: “Should my dog be losing weight?” Maybe you haven’t been exercising your pooch enough or have been letting them eat too many treats. In fact, it may not even occur to you that your dog needs to lose weight until a friend or family member mentions their ever-expanding waistline. After all, we see our dogs every day, so it can be difficult to notice slow changes like weight gain.
How to Tell if You Have an Obese Dog
There are a few things that can help you determine if you have an obese dog:
- Take your pooch to the veterinarian at least once a year for a regular checkup. After weighing your pet and giving them an exam, your vet can let you know if your dog is overweight.
- Trust your vet’s judgment! They know best. Not all dogs are built the same. Some are naturally skinnier than others, for instance, so a vet will give you a healthy weight range for your pet. However, if you’re still not convinced, visit another veterinarian for a second opinion.
- Look at your dog. You shouldn’t be able to see their ribs, but their torso should taper inward between their ribcage and hips.
- If you press lightly on your dog’s torso, you should be able to feel their ribcage. If you can’t feel any bones, that means you probably have an overweight dog.
What to Do if You Have an Overweight Dog
There are several steps you can take to help your dog in losing weight.
- Speak to your vet about the best dog food for weight loss. There are plenty of types of diet dog food. Most brands make weight loss dog food versions of their usual wet or dry food. Keep your dog on the same brand of food to help avoid an upset stomach.
- If you keep your pup on the same food, decrease their servings by 25 percent.
- Regularly exercise your dog. Take them on walks, play with them at home or take them on trips to the dog park.
- Don’t give your pooch table scraps.
- Avoid giving them excessive amounts of treats and when you do, give them all-natural treats.
Remember that a dog diet is a lot like a human diet. It requires fewer calories and more exercise. You don’t want your dog to lose all the weight right away either. Slow and steady wins the race!
If you have any questions about how to feed your dog or how much exercise they need, speak to your veterinarian. They’re your best resource for helping your dog in losing weight.