If your fur pal is looking a bit porky, it might be time to take action and put your beloved dog on a diet. After all, carrying excess weight will do nothing for its long-term health.

How many times have you given in to a happily wagging tail or puppy dog eyes and thrown Fido a treat or two? It’s okay. We all do it. However, too many treats will indeed make your furry friend fat and we don’t want that do we?

But, before you put your dog on a diet …

Be sure to take a trip to your local vet for a check-up. It really does pay to talk to your vet about your fur pal’s current diet, his nutritional needs and the best way to help him shed a few kilos.

Tips to help Fido lose the fat

Alongside putting Rover on a reduced-calorie diet, there are a few other helpful ways to help him shed the weight.

  • Avoid giving too many treats. Limit to just one or two a day.
  • Avoid processed products.
  • Make certain your fur pal can’t get into food in the pantry, fridge or cupboards. It’s all well and good putting your fur baby on a diet but not if he’s sneaking food when you’re not there!
  • Choose high-quality food and check the nutritional information. This will support your dog’s health and his waistline!
  • Exercise portion control. It may be that simply reducing your dog’s portion size is all that’s needed to ditch the excess weight.
  • Don’t give into those pleading, puppy dog eyes!
  • Try taking Rover for longer daily walks.

overweight black and white dog lying on checked blanket

Image source: Juan Gomez on Unsplash

Putting your dog on a diet

If the above hints for shedding a few pounds don’t work, and in consult with a vet, it’s diet time.

Start by sourcing a healthy, nutrient-rich dog food. Perhaps it’s one your vet has recommended or maybe you’ve chosen it yourself. Just ensure its fat content is low and it’s packed with veggies.

When transitioning to new dog food it can be useful to do a 50/50 mix of the old and new food. This helps support your pooch’s digestive system and will help make the switch more digestible for Fido!

Next up, ALWAYS measure your fur pal’s food. It’s really easy to overfeed a dog when you’re not sticking to exact measurements. If it doesn’t look like much food, that’s okay. He won’t starve — providing you have his size /weight correct.

Make sure your dog has plenty of fresh water to drink. This might help him manage his hunger or, at the very least, it’ll make sure he’s well hydrated.

Be careful to limit the number of treats you’re giving Fido. If you’re still in the training phase you may find it hard to omit all treats. In this case, break the treats into smaller pieces, so he’s getting less. Alternatively, switch to healthier treats.

Jack russell sitting with owner

Image source: Susn Matthiessen on Unsplash

Affection and lots of activity

NOTE: Just because you’re limiting his treats, he won’t love you any less. Replace the treats with lots of cuddles and affection and he’ll know he’s still your number one furry friend!

Lastly, make sure you exercise Fido. Putting your dog on a diet is one way to help him lose weight, but getting him out and about will help too.

If you don’t have time to take him for a big walk or run, active play in the backyard will do the trick. Try tug-of-war with an old rope, hide-and-seek with toys or simply throw the ball for him. Any amount of extra exercise throughout the day will help your four-legged friend drop a few kilos. Plus, you get to have fun, bonding time with him.

Have you ever had to put your dog on a diet? How did it go? Was it a success?

 

 

 

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Leanne Philpott

Leanne is a freelance writer at contentchameleon.com.au. She works alongside her fur pal Chewie (a border terrier) and is passionate about promoting responsible pet ownership.

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