Tips for Dog Weight Management

Dog weight should be carefully monitored throughout a dog's life, as obese dogs are susceptible to several health issues. Dog weight management should include 2 important aspects: diet and exercise. A balanced diet combined with sufficient exercise for your dog’s energy level will result in a healthy and fit dog.

Exercise for Weight Management

Exercise has a lot of benefits for dogs. Dogs that exercise on a regular basis will be less exposed to heart disease, high blood pressure, arthritis, diabetes, obesity, stress, insomnia or depression.

A dog that exercises will be in good shape, with sturdy muscles and a strong immune system.

The amount of exercise your dog needs depends on his size, energy level and personality. Consult your vet and see how much your dog should be exercising every day.

Typically, a medium energy level dog will need 30 to 40 minutes of exercise once or twice per day.

In case your dog needs to lose weight, he will need more exercise, so as to be able to burn some fat too.

You can choose from a wide range of activities, depending on what your dog enjoys to do. Make the activities a bonding experience; you can bike and your dog can jog alongside, or you and your dog can jog together. Some dogs enjoy fetch games or swimming.

In case the weather is rainy, you have the option of pet treadmills that dogs enjoy; the treadmill is a great cardio workout that is recommended both for maintenance and weight loss.

For older dogs with arthritis, swimming and low impact exercises are recommended.

Remember that the exercise program should be gradual, so as to prevent muscle or joint injuries. Don’t exercise during warm weather, to prevent heat strokes.

Diet for Optimal Weight

Dogs also need a balanced diet to be able to maintain their optimal weight.

In case your dog needs to lose some weight, you need to reduce his calorie intake. At the same time you need to keep in mind the dog’s nutritional requirements. Never start a diet before talking to your vet about the essential nutrients and your dog’s dietary needs. Your vet will recommend a reduction in the amount of carbohydrates in your dog’s diet. Carbs are not essential for the dog’s well being, so they can be eliminated.

Unfortunately, dry food contains a lot of carbs, so you may want to consider some alternatives such as wet food or homemade food.

If your dog needs to lose weight, you can also opt for the light versions of dog food; read the label first, because even if the food has fewer calories, it may lack essential protein.

Fresh water is essential in weight loss; your dog needs to be hydrated.

Don’t free feed your dog, as this will give him access to food all day long and the occasional snacking can lead to obesity.

A dog should get used to exercising from early puppyhood. Get a dog that has a suitable energy level for your lifestyle and maintain a balanced diet. This will ensure that your dog is happy, healthy and fit.