Just like humans, it is important that our dogs are maintaining a healthy weight to help ensure they live long and healthy lives. Alarming statistics now reveal that globally, 59% of dogs are considered overweight, leading to a pet obesity crisis.
There are many reasons a dog can become overweight. However, one of the leading causes is too many treats and over feeding. As owners, we treat our dogs as a sign of affection, to reward them when they are well behaved, and to help provide enrichment. It is important to remember that dogs are not people, and that they require a diet tailored accordingly. A little weight gain for certain breeds can be significant. For example, one kilo of weight gain for a dog could be the equivalent of up to eight kilos for humans.
To avoid any health problems as a result of weight gain on your dog, it is important to do regular body condition checks. Place your hands on the sides of your dog’s rib cage and carefully run your palms down to their sternum.
Your veterinarian will be able to help formulate a weight management strategy. It is important to remember that patience is the key, and that your dog should only be losing between 1-3% body fat per week. Your vet may recommend your dog should be fed a weight loss diet.
It is important to remember that the diet you are feeding is complete and balanced. Those added treats and leftovers can be replaced with other forms of positive reinforcement. A diet such as the Eukanuba Fit Body is a great start to creating healthy eating habits for your dog. The Fit Body range is low fat and contains the calorie content to help decrease fat accumulation, whilst the tailored levels of animal proteins help maintain ideal muscle condition. The diet includes a tailored blend of fibre to help to promote intestinal health and Glucosamine and Chondroitin to help support the joints.
Starting your dog on the right weight loss journey may seem daunting, but for your dog’s overall health and wellbeing, it is well worth the investment. To learn more about creating healthy eating habits for your dog, visit Eukanuba.
Dean Richardson – Eukanuba™ Nutrition Advisor
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