If you ever had to go through a diet regime to shed off those extra pounds, then you know how it feels when your four-legged friend has to go through the same thing. Losing weight is a difficult task and requires a lot of patience and discipline.
At first, you may think that your dog is the only one going through the battle, but in fact, you will have to suffer with them as well. That means, taking him or her for walks and runs as well as restraining yourself from letting them eat off your plate. This may sound easy, but a lot of owners cave-in and end up giving their canine companion a piece of their hamburger or french fries.
In order for your dog to successfully lose weight, you will have to work together as a team. Before diving into all the strategies that you will need to help your four-legged friend, let’s explore why it’s vital for your dog to lose weight.
Did you know that every 5 pounds above your dog's ideal weight can put him or her at risk for developing some serious medical problems? When your dog is overweight, he or she is prone to medical conditions such as heart disease, type two diabetes, osteoarthritis, high blood pressure, joint pain, and some forms of cancer. Since dogs live on average about 10 to 13 years, having these conditions can severely shorten their lifespan. Heavy dogs tend to be more sluggish, aggressive, and prone to medical problems.
Making The Connection
Dogs are extremely sensitive to losses and gains in weight, and just a couple of kilograms can cause a wide array of life-shortening and disabling health problems, such as: difficulty breathing, hypertension and heart disease, diabetes, poor immune function, liver disease, and arthritis. Unfortunately, there is a problem with owners not being able to promptly recognize their dog is considered to be overweight. After all, if dog owners report being aware of the health risks associated with their dog weighing too much, but the total amount of overweight dogs has still risen in the last few years, then the problem must be owners not being able to recognize if their dog is too heavy. Some statistics to consider:
- A huge majority (63%) of owners think that their pet is a healthy weight, while less than 10% perform the recommended monthly weight check, and 30% of owners say they’ve never weighed their pet before.
- Only 15% of owners can admit their dog is an unhealthy weight.
This means that while overall awareness of health problems in overweight dogs is gradually increasing in pet owners, the amount of dogs being diagnosed as overweight is still going up since owners are unaware of exactly when a dog can be labeled overweight, what causes it to occur, and how to recognize it. After diagnosing your dog as overweight, what should you do?Lucky for you, we here at Dope Dog have some tips and tricks that you can use to help your dog lose weight.