Chubby dogs may be cute, but they face serious health problems as a result of those added pounds. These include bone and joint problems, diabetes, heart disease, and respiratory problems. If your dog needs to lose some weight, your first stop should be the veterinarian’s office. Your vet can put together a safe and healthy weight loss plan customized for your dog’s needs.
Consider the possibility of underlying medical conditions.
One reason why it’s essential to consult a vet first is that mere calorie reduction may not be enough. Obesity in dogs can sometimes be caused by underlying health problems, and until the underlying problem gets treated, the weight issue cannot be successfully resolved. Your vet can do an exam and may recommend tests to make sure an underlying health issue isn’t causing your dog’s obesity.
Follow your vet’s dietary recommendations.
Pet food companies routinely print feeding recommendations on labels, but these aren’t always reliable—especially if your pet needs a reduced-calorie diet. First, your vet may recommend a particular type of food designed specifically for overweight canines. Second, he or she can calculate the amount of food your dog will need each day to maintain health and vitality, while also losing weight. Once you know the right amount to feed your dog, you should always use a measuring cup.
Limit your dog’s intake of treats.
It’s hard to resist giving your dog extra treats throughout the day. However, if you want to continue giving treats, you’ll need to include them in the daily calorie count. In addition, consider giving low-calorie, unprocessed treats, like baby carrots and green beans.
Invigorate your walking routine.
Most dogs love walks, but not all walks are good exercise. Your dog likely pauses frequently to check out interesting smells and mark the territory. Try to invigorate the walking routine by setting a brisk pace.
If you need help getting your chubby dog back to a healthy weight, come talk to the caring veterinarians at Horizon Animal Hospital. Our location in Scottsdale has state-of-the-art treatment equipment and an onsite pharmacy. You can reach us at (480) 800-4559.