How to Help Your Dog Lose Weight

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 for 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.

Lucky for you, we here at Dope Dog have some tips and tricks that you can use to help your dog lose weight.

What to Feed Your Dog?


When it comes to weight loss, the main issues tend to be the ingredients in your dog's food. You want to feed your dog more protein and less carbohydrates and fats. The protein can help build lean muscle and reduced levels of carbohydrates and fats can lower blood sugar level, therefore, reducing the chances of your dog getting diabetes.

A lot of people think that all fats are bad, but that’s not necessarily true. You can feed your dog the right type of fat to help him or her lose weight. For example, omega-3 fatty acids from fish oil can promote weight loss, shinier coats, and boost your dog's immune system. Veterinarians recommend giving 1 to 1.5 mg of fish oil per pound of body weight daily for your dog. If your dog has health problems like kidney disease, cancer, heart disease, allergies, inflammation, arthritis, or immune issues, then 3 mg per pound of body weight would be adequate. Cod liver oil contains vitamin D, vitamin A, and omega-3 that provides a wide range of health benefits for your dog.

When you purchase dog food, make sure to look at the ingredients. You don’t want to get something with a lot of by-products, corn, or syrup because these factors can contribute to weight gain.

Related: 4 Reasons Your Dog Should be Supplementing With Salmon Oil

Measure Everything Your Dog Eats


Once you purchase your dog food, look at the back of the package to see how much you should feed your dog. The most common mistakes owners make is filling up the dog bowl and letting the dog decide how much he or she wants to eat. This can lead to significant weight gain because some dogs will keep eating even when they are full.

It’s best to feed your dog twice a day, once in the morning and once at night. For example, if the directions say to feed your dog one cup per day, you can split that into half a cup in the morning and a half at night. That way, your dog will have an adequate amount throughout the day, and since it’s smaller portions, they can digest it easily.

Feed Your Dog the Right Treats


It can be tempting to give your pup an unhealthy treat. After all, who can resist those puppy eyes? Fortunately, there are ways where both parties can win. The right treats such as carrots, celery, cucumbers, apples, or bananas can be a delicious and nutritious snack. With these treats, you won’t have to feel guilty because your dog won’t gain a large amount of weight. The treats are healthy, filled with vitamins and nutrients, and low in calories.

Related: Chow Down! Top 10 Best Fruits Safe for Dogs

Exercise


Some dog breeds, such as Huskies and Border Collies, will require 1 to 2 hours of extensive exercise per day while other more relaxed breeds, such as a Shih Tzu or Maltese, will only need 15 minutes of fresh air each day. The general rule is that you should walk your dog at least 30 minutes twice a day. This can help keep your dog's weight regulated and to defuse all their active energy, so they won’t misbehave in the house. Plus, getting some exercise with your companion is healthy for you as well, so you might as well treat both you and your best friend for something special every day.


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Reduce Their Stress


If your dog is constantly stressed or has severe anxiety, it can cause them to overeat. Just imagine what you are like if you are stressed. When you see a bag of potato chips and a deadline, you are most likely to be crunching away. After all, food tends to trigger parts of our brain that elevates both serotonin and endorphins, which can relax and enhance your mood. With this in mind, your dog will most likely react the same way when they are anxious.

The best thing to do is to find ways to relax them. For example, Dope Dog has CBD compounds in their dog treats that can help alleviate stress; therefore, promote relaxation and decrease the chance of overeating from anxiety.

Related: Should Your Pet Take CBD Every Day?

If All Else Fails


If you have followed all these tips and tricks but your dog is still overweight, then it’s best to bring him or her to the vet for a physical examination and bloodwork to find the underlying cause.

If your dog suffers from type two diabetes or low thyroid levels, their metabolism could be suppressed, leading to easy weight gain. Fortunately, the right medication can help remedy the situation.

Another thing that your veterinarian can do is prescribe a special weight loss diet for your dog. This would entail a specific type of dog food that is low in calories but also has other nutrients and vitamins to help your dog lose weight efficiently.

Related: 4 Reasons You Should be Feeding Your Dog Sweet Potatoes

Conclusion


Dogs are very similar to humans. If they overeat without the proper exercise, they can gain weight and develop chronic diseases such as high blood pressure, coronary artery disease, diabetes, and much more. Dogs are like family, so it’s only natural that you want to make sure that your dog lives a long and healthy life. Make sure to give your canine pal healthy food, daily walks and runs, and plenty of love and attention.

Don’t think about this weight-loss journey as a chore. Instead, change your mindset and look at it in a positive way! Since your dog will need your help to get through this, just see this as an opportunity to work together as a team, strengthen your bond, and to live a healthy lifestyle together. Don’t forget to check out the Dope Dog store for all your dog's CBD needs.

Related: 10 High Fiber Foods for Your Dog

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