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Dog Weight Loss Tips

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dog weight loss tips

Over the weekend, a Facebook friend of mine posted a question about what food others suggested to help her dog lose weight.  The dog needs to lose a few pounds, and her vet advised her the food she’s currently feeding is high in calories.

Before changing food try a few simple lifestyle changes to help with pet weight loss. Click To TweetIf the food you’re feeding your pet is good quality, before changing food try a few simple lifestyle changes to help with pet weight loss.  Here are some suggestions:

Dog Weight Loss Tip 1: No Free Feeding

Pets often eat because they’re bored.  Free feeding can easily lead to overeating and weight gain.  When free feeding, it’s difficult to know how many calories your dog is consuming per day. Start feeding your dog at regular feeding times (preferably twice a day) and give the appropriate amount for what your pet should weigh.

Dog Weight Loss Tip 2: Minimize Treats 

Pet guardians sometimes “overtreat,” which can lead to weight gain.  Treats can often be pretty high in calories, so it’s important to add those calories into your pet’s daily intake.  Instead of feeding high calorie treats, try giving a bite of carrot or apple.  These are very low in calories, and offer your pet some healthy nutrients.

Dog Weight Loss Tip 3: Take Walks

We all get busy sometimes, but bumping up your dog’s exercise is a good way to get him in shape and is good for you, too.  Just letting your dog out in the fenced yard is ok, but doesn’t provide much in the way of structured exercise.  Build walk time into your daily schedule, try a 20 minute walk in the morning and one in the evening.  Your dog will love it, and it will be good relaxation time for you.

Dog Weight Loss Tip 4: Use “add-ins” to prevent hunger 

Dog guardians are often concerned about their dog getting hungry too quickly when they reduce the amount of food given.  To help your dog from feeling hungry soon after eating, try adding green beans (without any salt or seasoning) to his meal.  Use fresh, frozen or canned green beans, prepare as directed, and add just a couple to start.  Most dogs really like the taste, green beans have very few calories, and this offers some variety to their meal in addition to being a great source of fiber and nutrients.

Dog Weight Loss Tip 5: Make Your Pet Work For His Meal

Many dogs gobble their food so quickly they hardly taste it, then after they’re done they are looking for more food.  Try using a treat dispensing toy or a slow feeder bowl to make meal time fun, and slow down food consumption.  Treat dispensing toys make pets move around to find their food so they’re getting exercise during meal time.  Slow feeder bowls offer mental stimulation, pets have to figure out how to access their food, and slower eating also helps with digestion.

As with any weight loss program, check with your veterinarian before beginning.  He/she can also help determine the amount of food your dog should consume daily to help with weight loss.