I wrote a couple of weeks ago about how dogs can be an important part of your keep fit and lose weight campaign and in doing so you dog will also get fitter and perhaps lose some weight if it needs to. It is important that dogs do not become fat as overweight dogs are at risk from diabetes, heart disease, arthritis and reduced life spans. They are only with us for a few short years so we owe it to them to keep them as fit and healthy as possible which means keeping them at their optimum weight.
10 Tips to stop your dog getting Fat
- Don't overfeed at meal times - if needs be, weight the food so you know you are giving the right amount.
- Don't feed loads of snacks or titbits from the table or allow them to clean bowls for you. You might feel those begging eyes are irresistible but perhaps for one moment don't see them as eyes that are begging for food but for eyes that are begging you to take away the pain from arthritic joints brought on by being overweight.
- If you do feed snacks keep them small and low fat - a dog will be as pleased with that as something bigger and more fattening. It is the fact they are getting a snack that pleases them just as much as what it actually is.
- Be firm - if they are begging say no and make them go and sit on their bed. Remember those eyes, begging to stop the pain.
- If using snacks for training keep to a minimum and reduce their meal accordingly.
- Weight them regularly - our vet is happy for us to pop in whenever we want to put Saari on the scales .... she is less keen it has to be said!
- Check what weight they should be for their breed and age.
- Don't leave food out or they might steal it - SAARI - this one is aimed at you! If they have stolen then cut their next meal down accordingly.
- Regular walks - make sure they get walked at least once a day and at a decent speed. If they are not used to walking far and fast then build them up slowly, as you would do entering a new fitness regime. Every day means just that -come rain or shine, they need that walk.
- Ideally run with your dog for part of their exercise or if that isn't an option (ahem, that would be me!) then get them to run after balls or toys. A ball thrower is great for dogs who love to retrieve a something - that wouldn't be Saari then!
I have heard people say they can't resist those begging eyes. I say again, whilst looking at the photo of the overweight beagle above, PLEASE, do resist because these are not the eyes of a happy dog full of the joys of life but one who cannot run and jump and be "a dog". We owe it to our canine friends to not allow them to become overweight.
Have you got any more tips on how to stop our dogs getting fat? And why not pin the image below to spread the message.