Over 45 million Americans start a diet each year in the hopes of losing weight. But humans aren’t the only ones to benefit from shedding a few pounds.
Responsible pet owners need to monitor their four-legged friend’s waistline as well. Making sure your dog maintains a healthy weight is important for their overall health and well-being.
Is your pooch packing a few extra pounds? Looking for tips on how to get your dog to lose weight? Look no further!
Grab that leash and let’s discuss a few ways to help your dog lose weight and start feeling like a young pup again.
Fewer Carbs, More Protein
No, this isn’t KETO for dogs, however, monitoring your pup’s carb intake can drastically impact their weight. Just like in humans, too many carbohydrates can lead to weight gain.
Carbohydrates are an important source of energy for both you and your pup. The problem is, if you ingest more carbs than your body burns for energy, they’re stored as fat.
An influx of carbohydrates signals the body to produce insulin to help bring down blood sugar levels. Insulin also promotes fat-storage.
Instead of counting calories on dog food packages, pay close attention to the ratio of their meals – carbohydrates, fats, and proteins. Dogs, in particular, thrive on a high-protein diet that promotes lean muscle development.
In fact, most dogs don’t need any carbs in their diet! Focus on a high-protein diet sprinkled with mild amounts of fat and little or no carbohydrates.
Not only will the results show on the scale, but also as a boost in your dog’s energy levels.
Practice Portion Control
It’s not just what your dog eats but how much of it. The concept of moderation applies to both people and pups.
Avoid drastically cutting your dog’s portion sizes in half, but instead, slowly reduce the amount of food you give them. Not only will this promote more steady weight loss, but it’s easier for your pup to maintain, long-term.
Try feeding your dog smaller meals more frequently throughout the day. This helps them feel more satisfied and fuller, longer. It also promotes a healthy metabolism.
Switch things up by offering your pooch fresh, high-protein foods that are dog-friendly. Not only will your dog think they’re getting a treat, but you’ll be promoting weight loss with a high-protein diet.
Invest in a Scale
How can you monitor your dog’s weight without a scale? While it may sound a little silly (and prove a bit tricky with larger breeds), you should invest in a scale and weigh your dog regularly.
The good news is if you have a small dog, your scale or even a baby or postal scale will work just fine. If you have one handy, weigh your pup once a week to track their progress.
Larger breeds might require a visit to the vet, where they have a walk-on scale to accommodate dogs of all sizes. If you can, take your dog there once every two weeks to weigh-in.
No weight loss plan is complete without exercise. As important as a healthy diet is, your pooch also needs adequate physical activity to shed pounds and stay healthy.
Why not make it a joint effort and schedule daily walks with your pup? Unless you have a fenced-in yard, you probably take your dog for daily walks already. But instead of heading home after your dog does their business, stroll around the block or down the road a bit further.
Find a local dog park where your pup can run around, jump, play, and burn calories with other four-legged friends. Similar to adults, it only takes between 20-30 minutes of activity per day to see (and feel) positive changes.
Not only will your dog start to lose weight, but it’ll be easier and less painful for them to move around. This is especially true for older dogs who suffer from arthritis.
Fitness can be fun! When your dog nudges you with their favorite toy or drops a ball or stick at your feet, take advantage of this opportunity to encourage exercise.
Playtime for dogs is about a lot more than just fun and games. Chasing a ball, frisbee, or stick is a great cardio workout. Even tugging on that old tattered toy is great for both burning calories and strengthening your dog’s teeth.
Get creative and build ramps or an obstacle course in your backyard. You can also teach your dog new tricks that include plenty of movement. Your pup will be burning calories and losing weight without even realizing it!
Don’t Overindulge on Treats
One of the easiest ways to encourage your pooch to perform these tricks is by rewarding them with a treat. And while treats are fine once in a while, avoid giving them too often.
Similar to a human-diet, moderation is key when it comes to treats and indulgences. Your dog’s diet is no different.
Not only should you monitor the frequency of treats but also what you consider a treat. Healthy “people” food like carrots, chicken breast, salmon, and peanut butter make the perfect treat for your pup.
Remember, when it comes to dog treats, your four-legged friend is more concerned with how many treats they get, not how big the treats are. Spread them out over time by offering smaller amounts more often.
Your dog is getting the same number of calories but twice the pleasure!
A Guide for How to Get Your Dog to Lose Weight
Helping Fido get fit isn’t as hard as you think! When you follow these tricks for how to get your dog to lose weight, your pooch will feel the benefits in no time.
A healthy diet paired with adequate exercise is the key to weight loss in both canines and their adult owners.
Want to learn more about how to lead a healthy, fit life? Keep checking our blog for new posts, delicious recipes, and all things trending in the health and fitness world!