Dogs have an uncanny ability to look at you like they’ve never been fed in their lives, they’re dying of hunger and you are absolutely the worst person in the world for doing this to them…even though you know full well you only fed them a few hours ago. This means it is very easy to overfeed them with titbits and treats. They also often gulp their food down so quickly that it feels like we aren’t feeding them enough. We know how important it is to keep our dogs at a healthy weight but it can be incredibly difficult so here are some tips on how you can help your dog lose excess weight.
Get the Scales Out
No, we aren’t suggesting your dog goes to Weightwatchers or has regular weigh ins but we do suggest weighing how much food you are giving your dog because it’s so easy to just fill their bowl up without measuring how much you are giving them. Most good dog foods should have a feeding guide but they are often based on your dog’s weight so here is a guide to the rough weight your dog should be according to their breed.
If you can’t resist the ‘feed me’ stare, there are treats you can give your dog that won’t pile on the pounds. Fortunately, unlike cats, dogs will eat veggies so, if you do want to give your dog a treat off your plate, go for the veggies rather than chips or meat. Similarly, there are plenty of low calorie, healthy, natural dog treats available so you can treat your dog without needing to opt for fatty, sugary treats.
Protein is your Friend
So many dry dog foods are packed with grains now that your dog just doesn’t need. Just like humans, dogs will put on weight if they have too much carbohydrate in their diet and protein will help them feel fuller for longer too. Look for food with a high meat content and no grains. A good tip if you are looking at food labels which don’t have percentages on is to look at what order the ingredients are listed in because pet food companies are required to print their ingredients in order of the biggest percentage of the food’s constituents. Look out for tricksy phrases like ‘meat derivatives’ as these can be essentially anything like ground up bone or meat that’s ground up with other stuff. Try to buy food that actually specifies the type of meat in it instead.
Everyone knows that dogs need exercise but finding the time to walk them more often or take longer walks can be difficult. Like with humans though, it is possible to maximise how much weight your dog loses by exercising harder rather than longer. Is there a nice big hill in your local park you could throw a ball down so your dog has to keep running up and down it? A ball throwing stick could allow you to throw the ball further so your dog has to keep running further to fetch it. There are even automatic dog toys you can get for the home or garden to keep your dog moving even when you aren’t there to play with them but we imagine these are only a good idea with smaller dog breeds or people with plenty of space!
The principles of helping your dog lose weight are very similar to those for losing weight as a human where portion control, protein over carbohydrates and more exercise are the essentials. At Simply the Best Pet Food, we only sell healthy natural dog food that is high in protein with no grains whatsoever. There is a feeding guide on the packaging so you can see exactly how much you should be feeding your dog to keep them healthy. If you would like more information about our dog food, please call 07722 015433.