Just like with us, if a dog overeats and does not get enough exercise, they are going to gain weight. It is essential to take care of your dog if he develops a weight problem. Just as with us, they are overweight can cause a whole mess of issues with a dog. The thing is they happen faster with a dog than they do in us. The excess weight a dog has can cause extra pressure on their joints and muscles, and they might develop arthritis. The extra weight can also cause heart problems with dogs, and dogs can even get diabetes. Before you rush out to buy the newest diet dog food, stop and look at your dog’s feeding habits.
Before you start, double-check and see if your dog is overweight, you can check this without going to your vet. The best way to check is to feel your dog’s ribs with both hands. For an ideal weight dog, it is easy to feel the ridges. If you look at your dog from the side, the belly is tucked up, and if you look at your dog from the top, you will see your dog with a little waist. If your dog is overweight, you are not doing to be able to feel his ribs. When you look at your dog from the side, you will not see a tucked belly, and when looked at from the top, there is no waist. Growing up, my family dog was a beagle and was overweight, and her belly hung down to the ground almost, she was that fat. You could tell just by looking at her, and we didn’t need to do the rib test at all.
While being overweight can be the symptom of other illness, chances are your dog is just being overfed. It is still a good idea to take him to the vet to make sure. It turns out our beagle had a thyroid problem and needed medication. That was part of the problem. The other part was that she ate too darn much. As we said, you do not need to rush out and buy the newest diet food for your dog. There are some simple steps you can do first. For starters, look at his feeding schedule. If you are still feeding him twice a day, you should cut that down to once a day, especially if he is older than a year.
The schedule of feedings for your dog should go as follows: A puppy gets fed three times a day from 8 weeks until about six months. From 6 months until a year, they should be fed twice a day. Once they hit a year, they only need to eat once a day. Also, keep an eye at how much you are feeding him. Keep in mind the guidelines that are on the bag of the dog food. If it states to feed your dog a cup and a half a day, for example, do not feed them 3 cups. Some people believe that if they are only being fed once a day, then they should double up on the serving size to compensate. This is not true. When your dog is eating three times and even twice a day, they more than likely still on puppy food.
Once they are being fed once a day, they are on adult food, which theoretically will fill them up more than the puppy food did. Next, make sure you exercise your dog. This is easier with some breeds than it is with others! Take your dog for walks, if you have a fenced-in yard, make sure you are out 11 there with him tossing a ball around or at least playing with him. Anything to get them moving. This not only helps with exercise for maintaining weight, but it also supports some dogs relieve a lot of their pent up energy.
There is also a diet called the Green Bean Diet, that some have said have helped their dogs to lose weight. This diet is relatively simple to follow. You just cut back on your dog’s food and replace it with canned green beans instead. Studies have shown that you should take out about 10% of your dog’s food every five days or so and replace it with green beans until they are receiving about half the food they would have been usually. For example, if your dog eats 3 cups of dog food a day, you want to make sure they are getting 1 ½ cups of food and 1 ½ cup of green beans. Keep your dog on this until they lose the weight they need too. Always double check though with your vet before starting any new diet for your dogs.
You should try and stay away from diet dog food. They are usually filled with fillers, which are how they keep the fat and protein levels lower than in regular dog food. Plus these formulas might do more damage than good. You are better off saving your money and either cutting down his food or trying the green been diets. We tried some of these diet formulas, and nothing happened. The only time our beagle started losing weight was when we started feeding her less.
Lastly, when you are trying to get your dogs to weight under control, you should cut out all treats, including table scraps and rawhides. These are no when you are trying to get your dog to lose weight. Table scraps should be avoided no matter how much your dog weighs.