Help Your Dog Lose Weight Using These Vet Approved Nutrition Hacks

As we strive to keep fit this year, we also need to ensure that our furry friends are staying in shape too. Obesity in dogs is on the rise and it’s about time we protect our fur babies from unnecessary weight gain.

How can you tell if your pup is overweight? Sadly, not many pet parents have an idea of how to check if their dogs have the optimal weight. The result is that many dogs end up adding lots of unnecessary weight which puts pressure on their skeletal structure and body organs.

What’s more, obesity in dogs can trigger other health conditions such as;

a) Diabese

Overweight dogs tend to have a lot of glucose in their body. This causes the pancreas to produce more insulin to digest the excess glucose. When the pancreas is continuously overworked, it can lead to the failure of this organ sparking the onset of Type 1 diabetes in dogs.

b) Digestive problems

Most obese dogs don’t have a proper consistent diet. They end up eating all kinds of foods, some not so good for their gut. The result? Constant constipation and other sensitive stomach problems as the dog struggle to digest all the new foods it is eating.

c) High blood pressure

High blood pressure is directly linked to high cholesterol. Excess weight in dogs causes the arteries and veins to constrict. The heart then has to work twice as hard to pump the same amount of blood through the body.

d) Bone and joint damage

Excess weight puts a lot of pressure on a dog’s joints and bones. This can cause the dog to have an unusual gait. For instance, excess weight can exact a pull on the backbone causing it to curve inwards. Excess weight causes strains on joints and damage to ligaments. This can affect the mobility of the dog and other motor functions in the future.

e) Breathing problems

Obesity in dogs can easily cause breathing problems in your pup. Excess fat in an overweight dog exerts a lot of pressure on the diaphragm. The diaphragm is unable to contract and flatten to facilitate breathing.

And this is just the tip of the iceberg. Many other health problems can arise from your dog being obese. So if you suspect your dog has more weight on him than his normal BMI, then it’s about time you take action to correct that.

But first,

How do I know if my dog is overweight?

Here is an easy test you can carry out.

Have your dog in a sitting or standing position. Run your fingers along its side to feel the ribs. If your dog has a normal body weight, you should slightly feel the ribs over the coat. Some dogs have a lot of fur on them, so you may have to dig your fingers a little deeper to feel the ribs.

If the ribs feel a bit pronounced and you can see them protruding through the skin, then the dog is underweight. This may be accompanied by a dull-looking coat which is a sure sign of malnutrition.

If the dog is overweight, it will be harder to feel the ribs. This is because the skin is covered with excess fat preventing you from feeling the ribs. Also, a healthy dog has a body that narrows around the belly. If you cannot see the outline of the belly, then the dog is overweight.

You should also take your dog to the vet to have their BMI (Body mass index) assessed. A vet will help you know what the normal weight of your dog is with regards to its size and breed. They can also help you plan a proper nutrition plan that will help your dog slim down.

Fortunately, we have it covered for you in terms of the best nutrition plan to end obesity in dogs.

The best diet for obesity in dogs treatment

There are two diet plans you can employ for your dog’s weight loss journey. They are

  • Commercial Weight Loss Dog Food
  • Homemade dog food

Whichever option you choose, you have to ensure three things.

  • The new diet delivers plenty of high-quality proteins to the dog
  • The new diet is low on saturated and unsaturated fats
  • The new diet is low on carbs and calories

Healthy protein options to reduce obesity in dogs

Focus on feeding your dog quality proteins that are low on fat. Possible sources of quality proteins for obese dogs are;

  • Beef
  • Chicken
  • Turkey
  • Pork
  • Salmon

Consider feeding your dog raw chicken with the skin removed. The skin layer is high on fats and we do not want that for your dog. The same for pork or beef, always go for the lean options that won’t add more unwanted fat in your dog’s body.

If you are buying commercial weight loss dog food, consider food brands that use high-quality protein meals. Most of the weight loss dog food brands add nutritious whole grains like oats and peas to add healthy fiber to the dog’s diet. Whole grain brown rice, millet, or sorghum are also other healthy ingredients to help your dog lose weight.

Avoid or tone down on fatty foods

The only healthy fats to feed your dog are omega 3 and omega 6 fatty acids. You can get these from salmon, herring, or whitefish. For red meat like beef or liver, keep the fat content as low as 11%.

Tone down on carbs and calories to help your dog lose weight

If your dog is very inactive in life, they do not need high-calorie foods in their life. They are burning less energy which means most of the carbs are stored as fats in the body. Alternatively, you can prevent unnecessary weight gain through carbs by increasing activity in your dog’s life.

And we are going to discuss that next

Exercises to reduce obesity in dogs

There is no debate about it, a good diet and plenty of exercises make Fido a healthy pup. You do not need state-of-the-art equipment to exercise your dog. Here are 3 top canine workouts that will help your dog burn excess fat and calories to keep them healthy.

  • Weight pulling

The perfect exercise for large breeds like Labradors, mastiffs, Rottweilers, and XL Pitbulls. A dog harness tied to a sled is all you need for this exercise. Add weights slowly to the sled to vary the intensity of the workout. You could also use your own body as weights like in this homemade canine workout video.

  • Up and downs

This is another simple exercise where your dog runs up and down a raised surface. It could be a tiny hill outside or the staircase in your house. This is an exercise that works for dogs of all breeds and ages. As your dog works out his muscles, he is burning excess fats and enjoying playtime with his favorite human.

  • Tug of war

This exercise prompts your dog to use his body strength to pull the tug rope away from you. For large powerful breeds like the boxer or German Shepherd, you could fasten the rope to a tree and let the dog tug at it.

Keep your dog hydrated with Bullyade electrolyte water

Moving all that extra weight is bound to wear your dog down while exercising. One way you can help them is by giving them Bullyade water. It is like Gatorade but for canines. Bullyade water replenishes the electrolytes that are lost during workouts.

With a constant supply of Bullyade supplement, your dog will have the extra energy to keep going and burn more fat during workouts. This helps them get leaner faster!

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