There are approximately 75 million domesticated dogs living in the United States. Statistics show that nearly 30 million, that’s 40%, of those dogs are overweight. If your dog is overweight, there are several simple steps that can help your dog lose weight. Through light and fun exercise, a small change in diet, and some encouragement, your dog can lose a few pounds and live a longer, healthy, and happy life. Along the way, you may even lose some weight.
The first step to helping your overweight dog lose weight is exercise. Now, I don’t suggest that you take your dog to the gym or to the pool with you. Although, I know my canine would love to swim in a pool and maybe yours would too. The key to exercise for your dog is to keep the exercise light and fun. It’s the same as if a human was trying to lose weight. If a sustainable plan isn’t chosen, the plan is destined to fail and you’ll never lose the weight, much less keep it off. If you’re dog is particularly overweight the exercise should start out even lighter and work its way up. Also, keep in mind that the term light exercise is relative. If it’s a bigger animal, like a greyhound, light exercise may be walking a few miles. If it’s a smaller animal, like a dachshund, it may just be walking your dog down the street and back. Although attempting to lose weight doesn’t sound fun, try to have fun with your dog and hopefully your dog will have fun with you. If it seems tedious, don’t be afraid to listen to music or invite friends to walk with you. Walking is good exercise and can help you, and your dog, lose weight and maintain a healthy life.
It is more than likely that exercise alone will not cure your dog’s obesity. A small change in diet will help with the attempt to lose weight. I don’t mean a full blown diet, like all those diet fads that humans suffer from. Instead, I recommend attempting to stick with the brand of food you are using, if they offer a diet alternative. I know for a fact that Iams offers weight loss alternatives in both diet food and diet cookies. If you’re on an extremely tight budget and don’t wish to spend money on diet food, contact your local vet and ask how much food you can safely cut back on, although this is not the ideal diet.
From my own personal experience, my dog Reagan’s vice was cookies and my family was not helping him out by spoiling him. So I finally decided to help him lose weight by buying some diet cookies and walking him every evening. At the beginning of the summer he was 10 pounds overweight. By the beginning of July, he was only 5 pounds overweight and I had even lost 5 pounds from walking him. We were both feeling healthy and happy.
I hope I’ve shown you that it isn’t hard for your dog to lose weight with exercise, a careful diet, and your help. With that said, I urge you to not put it off any longer. If your dog is one of the 30 million overweight dogs in the United States. Do something about it now. I know that I want to keep by best pal around, and happy as long as a I can.