Dog obesity has become a major health crisis for our canine friends. About 56% of all dogs in the U.S. are overweight or obese, and small dogs are among them. In fact, they may even be more susceptible to becoming overweight than big dogs since they tend to be less active than their larger counterparts.
If your small dog has become overweight, here are a few ways you can help them lose weight:
Create a plan and stick with it
If your vet has told you that you need to get your dog’s weight under control, then the first thing you should do is to create a plan. Find out what your dog’s ideal weight is for their breed/size, and then make a step-by-step plan on how you’ll achieve that goal (for example, you could plan to walk them for 30 minutes each day, or to change their food). Nevertheless, don’t change your dog’s eating and exercise regime abruptly. Instead, make it a gradual process over the first week.
Measure and monitor their food
Consult your vet about how much food your dog should be eating in a day, and then stick to that number. Measure out your dog’s food every time that you feed them, ensuring that your dog only eats the appropriate amount—no more, no less. This means eliminating table scraps and limiting how many treats you give your dog throughout the day.
Keep them active, but don’t over-do it
Exercise is a crucial part of your dog’s weight-loss plan, but you shouldn’t expect your laid-back pup to run several miles on day 1. Walking your dog regularly or spending some time playing out in the backyard is often enough to get your pup moving. If you’re not sure how much your dog should be exercising, talk with your veterinarian.
Don’t be fooled by those puppy eyes
Dogs love food, and they will resort to somewhat devious means of getting it. Just because your dog is begging for food doesn’t mean that they’re hungry. It may not even mean that they’re wanting food, as begging is also a way of getting your attention. Make a note of when your dog was last fed and trust your own judgment about whether or not your dog deserves a snack.
To learn more about how to help your small dog lose weight, contact Pauley’s Pups today!