Obesity is one of the most common health problems for dogs. When they give us those adorable puppy eyes it can be hard to resist sharing a morsel of food. But increased body fat can lead to a reduced lifespan by affecting the internal organs, hormones, joints and skin.
While risk factors like genetics, breed and age are out of our control, we can control the amount of food our pets eat. We can also control how much they exercise, which is undeniably good for us too!
To check if your pet is overweight, follow these steps:
Can you feel their ribs when you gently run your hands over their rib cage?
Is their abdomen tucked up behind the rib cage when you look at your pet’s profile?
Can you see your pet’s waist behind his ribs when you stand above him?
If you answered NO to any of the questions, your precious pet may have a weight problem.
To combat those extra kilos it’s best you start with a thorough vet examination. They will make sure there are no underlying health problems and will give you an indication of what their ideal body weight should be. Next, you need to ensure they are fed a premium quality pet food (your vet may have already prescribed one). Check the feeding guidelines on the package and feed them according to their ideal weight. Divide this total daily amount into 2-3 smaller meals per day. While treats should be kept to a minimum, if you are feeding treats, make sure you reduce the quantity of the meals accordingly.
Whether you’re teaching them to sit, pose for ‘likes’ or stop peeing on the rug, dogs learn best when you reward good behaviour. But giving them too many treats can lead to weight issues. That’s why we made this Crumble. With delicious plant-based ingredients, it’s designed so that small portions can be used as big rewards.
All pets should receive at least 30 minutes of exercise per day. Your overweight pet may need extra encouragement to be active as that extra weight is probably slowing them down!
To help keep you motivated, weigh your pet at your local vet every 2 weeks to check that things are moving in the right direction. Be patient – weight loss can be a slow process and it may take up to 3-6 months for your pet to achieve their ideal body weight. Your vet will be able to answer any questions you have, so stay in regular contact with them.