How to put your dog on a diet

If your pup is looking a bit porky, it might be time to put them on a diet!

23 Apr 2017 By Zahra Gaitskell Comments

Sometimes those pleading puppy dog eyes can get the best of a firm owner, but we all know that too many treats can make your furry friend fat.

Before you put your dog on a diet you need to consider its nutritional needs. If they're just a little chubby you might just need to reduce heir portion size, but it's always good to take your pooch to the vert for a thorough health check before making any changes to their diet. Your vet will advise if your dog’s current diet is suitable, suggest a meal plan or changes you can make, and offer support and guidance through your dog’s diet phase.

Not every dog is the same so you will need to cater your dog’s specific nutritional needs. However, there are some basics that will always apply!  Your dog needs a mix of vitamin and minerals, proteins, fats and carbohydrates. The priority should be high-quality animal proteins, which will also provide your dog’s fat needs. Animal protein should be about 75% of your dog’s meal, followed by whole fruits, vegetables and grains.

Avoid overly processed products, which could contain added sweeteners or meat by-products. As a general rule of thumb, your dog will get the best nutrition from foods you prepare from scratch. When that isn't possible be sure to check the nutritional information on the food you're purchasing to find the best quality meals for your animal. Swapping to a higher quality food with better nutritional value will improve both your dog’s health and their waistline!

Now your dog’s nutritional needs are sorted it's time to make sure they're getting enough food to fuel their energy needs throughout the day. It's simple, the more exercise your dog needs the more they need to eat! Plus during winter your dog will need a little more food to keep them warm. If you identify that you’re over-feeding your dog, it's time to exercise some portion control. Reduce the portion size gradually, so you don’t shock their system, but make sure you're consistent; don't give into those pleading eyes!

If you're feeding your four-legged pal the right foods and the correct portion size but they're still on the chubby side you may also need to cut back on the treats. Treats are great for training and rewarding your dog, and sometimes just because, but they're usually high in calories.

Treats can be given on a regular basis as long as the portions are small. Your dog will be just as excited for the treat and probably won't even notice the reduced portion in their haste to gobble it up! Alternatively change the nature of the treat—your dog will love a cuddle and some playtime almost as much as that biscuit!

Remember, putting your dog on a diet is a gradual process and takes commitment, but they'll soon be a trimmer, happier and, most importantly, healthier!

23 Apr 2017 By Zahra Gaitskell Comments

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