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Dr.Tail

Tips to Keep Your Dog at a Perfect Weight

A puppy drooling over food.
Photo by Karsten Winegeart on Unsplash

No matter its appearance, your pet always looks lovely and adorable to you. We understand that, like any parent, you always want to give your pet the best food. However, if your pet is obese, life expectancy may be reduced by two years. Therefore, weight management is not an option. It’s a necessity.


Recognizing problems: Is my pet really overweight?

▪︎ Do not get fooled by the appearances. According to the AAHA, 59% of dogs and cats are obese. In other words, more than half of the pets around you are obese. You might think you’re safe when comparing your pet to other clearly obese pets, but it’s always better to be sure.

▪︎ Step on the scale. Let’s hop on the scale carrying your pet. Your pet’s weight is the total weight subtracted by your weight. Is your pet within the recommended weight range? It’s too early to be relieved as your pet’s weight only paints half of the picture. To be certain, speak with your veterinarian in reference to the BCS(Body Condition Scoring).


Controlling food portion sizes: The most important but the easiest

▪︎ Plan a feeding schedule. Let's think about it. How was your pet’s feeding schedule in the past?  Dogs should eat 4 to 6 times a day until they are 4 months old, 3 times a day till they mature into adults, and twice a day after they are adults. You should talk to your vet about portion sizes because they vary widely depending on the breed.

▪︎ Nobody sneaks my pet treats. No family member of yours should fall for your pet’s cuteness and excessively give them treats. Make sure to set a schedule for when and what kind of treat you'll give your pet.

▪︎ Use food toys. This is an efficient method of increasing the amount of time your pet spends eating. To help weight management, you should frequently give adult pets small portions of foods utilizing toys (food puzzles, fun bowls, etc.) that involve physical activity.

▪︎ Monitor your pet’s weight. Regularly check your pet’s weight to make sure you’re doing a good job. At vet checkups, having a historical record of your pet’s weight is quite useful. Let’s try to make recording your pet’s weight a habit.


Summary: if regularly exercising is hard, start with food portions.

Exercising on a regular basis is just as vital as maintaining a healthy weight. We all know how important it is to exercise our pets, but it’s hard to be diligent all the time. So, let's start with something that's simpler: a diet plan.


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References

  • https://www.aaha.org/your-pet/pet-owner-education/aaha-guidelines-for-pet-owners/weight-management/
  • https://www.avma.org/resources/pet-owners/petcare/your-pets-healthy-weight
  • https://www.akc.org/expert-advice/nutrition/how-many-times-a-day-should-a-dog-eat/
  • https://www.hillspet.com/dog-care/routine-care/keeping-adult-dog-healthy