Help Your Chubby Dog Lose Extra Pounds


How to Help Your Chubby Dog Lose the Extra Pounds

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You love your furry companion with all its flaws and extra pounds, but there’s a catch. Canine obesity is a growing concern for pet parents across the US, with 59% of dogs considered obese or overweight. People do not want chubby pets anymore, no matter how cute and cuddly they appear. That’s because most dog parents are aware of the downsides of weight issues in canines. 

Being aware is the first step, but it is crucial to address obesity in your canine companion sooner rather than later. Fortunately, a little change in your pet’s schedule and lifestyle can help it shed the bulk and become healthy and energetic. You may also need to alter your habits to do your bit to support your furry friend.

In this article, we will share a few actionable recommendations for dog parents to help their chubby babies with healthy weight loss.

Understand the Risks

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Perhaps, this looks unrelated, but knowing the risks of canine obesity will boost your commitment to the goal. Research shows that obese dogs have a significantly lower lifespan than canines with healthy weight. You may expect your pet to lose 6 months to 2 years of its life due to those additional pounds it carries. 

Moreover, excess weight elevates the risk of several health issues such as cancer, hypertension, diabetes mellitus, osteoarthritis, kidney disease, and heart disease. The American Kennel Club refers to obesity as a major health threat hiding in plain sight. Once you know these risks, you will understand the gravity of the situation and take prompt and proactive measures for pet weight management.

At this point, also consider the potential reasons for your pet’s weight gain. Is it genetically predisposed to obesity? Are you feeding your pet too much? Are you using the right measuring cup to manage portions? Are you not doing enough for exercise? Is age or a medical condition at fault? The solution lies in these answers!

Consult a Veterinarian

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Forbes notes that healthy adult dogs should be taken to a veterinary clinic annually for routine checkups, vaccinations, and other preventative care. However, additional visits may be essential depending on age, breed, and health. Obesity is another reason your pet may need to drop in at the clinic a few months apart.

As a proactive approach, you can seek advice from a veterinarian to help your chubby dog lose weight. They will thoroughly examine your pet to determine its health status, ideal weight, and underlying medical conditions. Additionally, they can offer personalized recommendations and a tailored weight reduction plan according to your dog’s age, breed, size, and overall health.

Create a Balanced Diet Plan

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According to studies, overweight dogs respond well to a diet high in protein and fiber. Along with calorie reduction, these nutrients can lead to a change in the animal’s body composition and inflammatory markers. Your pet can achieve a healthier weight without losing muscle mass. Also, it results in a dip in inflammatory markers, serum triglycerides, and insulin.

A well-balanced diet is vital for effective and sustainable weight loss. Work with your veterinarian to create a customized meal plan with high-quality, low-calorie dog food. Products like Hill’s r/d Dog Food are designed to promote healthy weight loss in canines. This product offers an ideal fiber blend for weight management along with therapeutic nutrient levels.

PetCareRx recommends keeping a close watch on your pet’s weight because obesity can quickly snowball into mobility issues. However, the right diet and clinically proven nutrition can help dogs lose pounds within eight weeks and sustain the results for the long haul. 

Besides feeding your pet a balanced diet, you must practice portion control and avoid free-feeding. Spare the treats and stick to other forms of positive reinforcement. You can show your love to your furry companion without sharing treats and table scraps.

Monitor Food Intake and Progress

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Customizing your pet’s diet is a great start, but you cannot take a set-and-forget approach when dealing with obesity. You must constantly monitor your dog’s food intake and progress to understand whether the plan is working or taking you nowhere. Not all diet plans work, and sometimes, the ones that are initially effective go wrong down the road.

Maintain a food journal to track meals, snacks, and treats as it helps you to ensure that your pet sticks to the prescribed calorie limits. At the same time, it should get all the nutrition it needs with the right proportions of vitamins and minerals. 

Also, regularly weigh your dog to record its progress and the effectiveness of your weight loss plan. You may have to adjust portion sizes, opt for a prescription diet, or swap products to achieve steady, gradual results. 

Optimize the Exercise Routine

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Besides diet and nutrition planning, an optimal exercise routine is essential to address canine obesity effectively. It burns calories, promotes weight loss, improves mobility, and keeps your furry companion happy and energetic. Aim for daily activity tailored to your pet’s age, breed, and fitness level. Studies show that active pet parents have active dogs, so commit to being regular with your daily workouts. 

Integrate activities like brisk walks, jogging, swimming, and interactive play sessions to help your dog shed pounds. These activities also provide mental stimulation and bonding opportunities. Once again, monitor and improve, gradually increasing the duration and intensity of the sessions as your pet’s fitness improves.

Join a Supportive Community

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Weight loss journeys can be challenging, even for pets and their parents. However, you are not alone, because more than half of the dogs around you are likely to be overweight. You can join a supportive community to overcome the struggle of navigating the challenges of pet obesity alone. Look for local support groups or online communities.

Connecting with people facing similar challenges enables you to share tips, experiences, and recommendations. You can also get valuable encouragement and motivation along the way. Professional support from veterinarians, certified dog trainers, and animal nutritionists can make a difference.

In conclusion, canine obesity is common and challenging, but the right approach makes it surmountable. Awareness is the first step, and being committed and proactive is the next one. With these simple measures, you can help your furry companion lose those stubborn pounds and reclaim its health and fitness.

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