Got an overweight dog? From a few extra pounds to hugely obese; our dogs suffer the same when they carry around too much weight. It makes me sad when I see dogs who are too heavy; it is not their fault but they suffer the consequences. There are a few reasons why a dog will become overweight; they eat too much food, they eat all the wrong foods or they don't get enough exercise. So how do you get your pudgy out of shape dog back in the game? The big secret to losing weight is this: eat less, move more. Simple eh?
First, have a look at what your dog is eating. That means everything that your dog is eating. You need to look at their intake of calories; which includes everything that they eat, not just what goes into their bowl. Are you feeding a high quality kibble or is it filled with empty calories that your dog doesn't need? Sometimes it's not that you are feeding too much; it might just be what you are feeding. My rule about dog food is this; if you can buy it in a big box store, DON'T. If they have advertising on television, DON'T BUY IT. Last as Luke, Elsa and I watched t.v. I was shocked to see how many ads were run from a new food that Purina has out. Shocking how much money they spend in attempt to get us to buy a product that they cut every corner to produce.
Research, research, research; but if you are not into research at least do a little. There are lots of sites on the net where you can get ratings on the quality of dog food. More quality, less quantity. It always amazes me how little food a dog needs if it is really good food. Elsa keeps a very girlish, athletic figure on not a whole lot of food. But what she eats is nutrient rich; packed full of food that her body will utilize, that is what we should be feeding. (Not talking about Luke here, he is the other end of the spectrum) Don't skimp when it comes to your dog's food; don't just grab the stuff at the store because it's there and easy.
Quantity? Do you cave at those big brown eyes staring at you? Are you convinced that the way to your dog's heart is through their stomach? Sorry to burst your bubble but most dogs are pigs and they will use you to get to the food. If you love and care about your dog; don't over feed them. Offering food as a show of love is all wrong; it is that offering that may end your relationship far too soon. Caring for our dogs means doing what is best for them; what will make them thrive and have a great life. It is not always easy to do; sometimes we have to make tough decision for the good of our dog.
Don't like to exercise? Well, it's good for us as well as our dogs. You don't have to run 10 miles a day to give your dog exercise. I'm all about quality over quantity. That typically means that a dog has got to run, off leash. To do that you can have a friend over to play (which is what we are doing today). Teach your dog to retrieve a ball or hit a leash free area that is safe. A walk around the block will not cut is as far as exercise and movement is concerned. The biggest problem with overweight dogs is lack of movement. We all have busy lives but there is always a way to move your dog.
Make a plan, quality food in, more movement. Start today.