Health is one of the most important things in the world for us to look after, and it’s no different for our dogs. As owners, we need to do all that we can to help them live the healthiest happiest lives that we can. That never stops, and it’s affected by a variety of different factors. That makes things complicated. One of the most important of these is helping your dog to maintain a healthy weight, and usually, that results in needing to help your dog lose weight. Overweight dogs are much more common than people think, even if we don’t realise it.
We’re going to break it down into two critical factors:
What makes matters worse is just how hard a task that this can be. Our dogs’ lives aren’t as busy as ours after all, and there’s much less room for them to make healthy choices like we can. We’re (semi) limited on what we can feed them, where we can take them, and generally what we can do with them. That can make it really easy for your dog to start regularly undergoing some less healthy activities, much like it does ourselves.
The first step in combatting all of these negative health issues comes from all of these put together. That’s knowing how to help your dog lose weight and stay at the healthy weight they need to reach. Just about any pet expert will tell you the importance, so the right advice can really go a long way.
The first place to look at reaching a healthy weight almost always comes from nutrition. This is what has the biggest impact on weight and health, after all. Again, it’s just like it is with humans. We need to have a good, healthy, balanced diet to reap all the rewards that our diet has to offer.
Allowing your dog to eat more food than they probably should is an easy trap to fall into for a few different reasons. The biggest of these comes from the regular meals your dog is enjoying since that’s the centre of their nutritional intake. It’s what they’re eating day in-day out that’s going to give them more calories than they can use. That’s the fundamental of weight gain.
The other side of the coin in the nutritional front comes from the treats we’re giving our dogs too. In fact, not giving them treats as regularly or even making them healthier treats are both some of the best things you could do to help your dog lose weight and be healthier. That’s amplified even more if you’re feeding them things you probably shouldn’t be, like sugary snacks or processed foods.
As well as nutrition being the backbone of your dog’s weight, the other dramatic influencer on your dog’s health comes from their exercise. This one can get a lot trickier too, since a lot of it can depend on your dog’s nature, preferences, and even their age if that plays a part in their activity levels. It’s a big deal.
Much in the same way as above, your dog’s weight is affected by the exercise they do in every sense. That comes from more ways than one. The biggest again though comes from what you and your dog do in terms of exercise daily. If you go for 3 walks per day and walk for 20 minutes each, for example, you’ll be using much more energy than you would say for 1 20-minute walk. That reflects on your dog’s weight in conjunction with what they can eat.
Walking isn’t the only exercise your dog gets regularly though. One of the biggest ways you can help your dog lose weight even more with food and diet is by exercising in your free time too. Playtime is one of the best ways, but so are trips and activities. They all help you and your dog move more, and that’s a vital part of the whole thing.
Ultimately, those two things are the biggest player in helping your dog lose weight and maintaining their new healthy weight too. The more your dog moves, the more they should be able to eat. Take that into account too.
It’s always worth asking a vet for professional advice, but these are some good places to start.