The festive period is often synonymous with a little weight gain for all of us, including our pets. If your new year’s resolution is to help your dog get fit and shed a little weight, then look no further…
We’ve compiled our 5 top tips to help your dog lose weight and keep it off so you can have a happier, healthier new year!
1. Talk to your vet first
There can be many reasons your dog may be heavier, besides extra Christmas treats. Your vet can rule out any undiagnosed conditions and give information on a plan that suits the breed and age of your dog, such as daily calorie intake, specialist diet foods and their ideal weight.
2. Ignore their puppy-dog eyes
Although easier said than done with their pleading faces, one of the most straightforward ways to help your pooch lose weight is to resist their pleas for food. It’s also important to ensure that everyone in the household — whether it’s your family, friends, or your sitter — is aware of your dog’s diet plan.
3. Reconsider their rewards
When training or out walking with your dog you may reward them with food, but try to offer them high-protein, or healthy treats so that they’re not consuming too many extra calories. For example, a piece of plain rice cake or a piece of fresh apple makes a great choice. Alternatively, show them some love! A belly rub or playing fetch with them to reward their good behaviour are great options to ensure your dog still feels loved.
4. Keep track of what they eat
It can come as a surprise that your dog is classed as overweight when you think you’re feeding them the right amount. But, everything adds up – so whether it’s a few scraps of meat from the dinner table, or if you’re a multi-pet household and they’re stealing their furry pals’ leftovers, keep a close eye and note it down in a food diary.
Trusted tip: If there is a chance they’re stealing food from another pet, try feeding them separately. This way there’s no way your pooch can sneak extra bites from other plates…
5. Get them moving
It’s no surprise that dogs love to get out for a walk. Make sure you’re taking them out each day, and get playing. Games such as fetch are fantastic ways to keep your dog both entertained and healthy. It is also a great way to get their human family walking too after festive food follies!
Losing weight is all about keeping active, trying to eat a healthy, balanced diet, as well as making it fun so the whole process is as easy and enjoyable as possible!