Loving Your Dog With Food
We all love our dog babies, but we might be loving them too much with food. I know it’s hard to resist their puppy dog eyes when they want a treat! But we should monitor how our pet’s weight is affecting them. Just like humans, too much weight on their body and joints will lead to health problems.
Dogs can gain weight for various different reasons, like overeating, too many treats, or an underlining health issue. … This can cause stress on your pet’s body, exacerbate other health issues like heart disease and arthritis, and can end up taking years off your pet’s life.
Health Problems Caused By Dog Obesity
There are many diseases and conditions that come along with extra pounds. These include:
- Type 2 diabetes
- Osteoarthritis, especially in the hip
- High blood pressure
- Orthopedic problems, cranial cruciate ligament injuries
- Skin disease
- Heart and Respiratory Disease
- Decreased life expectancy (up to 2.5 years)
Veterinarians have a guide that you can use to assess your dog.
So Your Dog is A “Chonk”
There are ways to put your dog on a “diet”. I know nobody likes to hear that word, especially dogs that really want that treat or a little extra food! You have to be your dog’s willpower. BE STRONG FOR YOUR DOG SO YOU BOTH CAN ENJOY MORE HAPPY DAYS TOGETHER!!
Food: Your veterinarian can tell you how much your dog should eat for their stage of life. Puppies usually get fed 3 times a day as pose to senior dogs need fed less because they are less active. (The feeding guide on food bags are usually more because the food companies want you to buy more of their food more often.) You can try putting their food down for 15 minutes and let them eat. When they stop and walk away, pick up the food so they aren’t eating all day long.
Exercise: Get your dog more active! When going for walks, you can make it more vigorous with a little jogging or hiking. (I know not all people will want to do this, me including!) Even just a short walk outside will do you both good to clear your head and have bonding time with your dog. Have more play time with fetching, playing with toys, or with a laser (make sure not to shine in dog’s eyes.) by making them chase after it. I personally do this with Chloe. She goes nuts and runs around the house to catch it!
Treats: This is where most of the calories come from! Dog cookies, bully sticks, pill pockets (they have to make these taste good if there’s a pill inside!), and peanut butter are some of the treats with the most calories. Instead you can give your dog carrots, green beans (rinsed with water), celery, asparagus, blueberries, and snap peas. You can put these in toys that hold “treats” just the same as dog cookies. It will give your dog something to do and you’re not just “handing out” treats.
I know it’s tough to keep them on a healthier lifestyle especially when they are begging for treats that they used to have. I had to do all this with my Frankie. Pugs are one of popular breeds that gain weight fast because they are just so cute! We used to free feed him (just leaving a bowl full of food out all day) and giving him lots of treats like dog cookies and my dad giving him table scraps (I DO NOT CONDONE GIVING TABLE SCRAPES!!!). Pugs are suppose to weigh between 16-18lbs and Frankie was hitting 30lbs!!! The veterinarian diagnosed him with diabetes and told us to cut down his meals to twice a day with special weight/diabetic food. He also mentioned to give him treats like carrots and green beans (rinsed with water to get the salt off). That was a wake up call to all of us. He was put on insulin twice a day. And this would be for the rest of his life! Frankie didn’t care what he was eating as long as he had something to chew on. We bought toys that you can put “treats” in and he had to figure out how to get them out. He loved playing around with them and plus it gave him exercise chasing the toys around. After months of being strict about his food and treats, he weighed around 20. He was a lot happier, as long as there were carrots in his toys!!