Americans and their pet dogs are heading in the wrong direction when it comes to diet and fitness. There’s been an increase in obesity for awhile now and this trend continues despite a heightened awareness of the problem.
Diet, fitness and nutrition are tied to quality of life whether we’re referring to humans or canines. Let’s take a look at the health and diet needs of dogs rather than focusing on particular foods.
You don’t want your dog to suffer from obesity, and its effects, when they get older. Diet, including calorie consumption and physical activity, obviously determines your dog’s weight levels. Striking the right balance is the best approach.
Should I Start My Dog on a Diet? Answer: Yes, if needed
Weigh your pet for a good reference point by which to begin an effective doggie diet plan.
Then take into account your dog’s age and tailor a diet plan around that because it’s a major factor. Consider a special dog food that’s formulated for maintaining lean muscle and weight loss.
Fido’s Age is a Big Factor
Older dogs, since they have much lower energy needs, won’t be able to burn excess food beyond their body’s requirements. As such, senior dogs should be getting no more than 30 calories per pound of their body weight daily. You don’t want an older dog adding fat deposits especially if they’re already overweight!
Calories Verses Activity
Keep an eye on calories and use a balanced approach, being mindful by factoring in your dog’s level of physical activity. Higher calorie intake is okay as long as your dog is burning them off with activities. That’s why playing and running throughout the day is so important.
Dogs often don’t have the opportunity to be as active as they would like. Try to set aside some time each day for outdoor leisure. People don’t consciously realize that this is not a cure for boredom but it’s a health benefit.
Also consider getting a fun and interactive toy which you can use to entertain them when you are unable to do so.
You Are What You Eat!
Evaluate your dog’s food and the type of calories you are providing. There are so many questionable human snacks that we do not recommended for canine consumption. For example, you can’t expect a dog to be healthy when they’re regularly fed nachos. This is where a disciplined dog diet comes in.
Planning for a Pet Pooch
You need an actual plan and health insurance for your dog isn’t the answer. Spending just a little extra on quality dog food can really make a difference. Portion control is also key, even in younger dogs. The last 10 to 20% of your dog’s meals is what’s packing on those pounds. Ration food and over the long term you’ll notice a difference.
If you often feed your dog just about any type of table scraps, it’s probably counterproductive. Give them something healthy and grab some carrots instead for example. Just get going on a diet plan if you are serious. Don’t delay!
Regarding Special Diets
Under normal circumstances, Hill’s Science Diet Perfect Weight is highly recommended. Certain food products cater to dogs with medical conditions. There are prescription diets that slow down the effects of kidney disease, heart disease and some types of intestinal problems among other chronic conditions. These are usually prescribed to geriatric dogs and could literally be a life saver.
Talk with your vet, if your dog suffers from a serious condition, instead of trying to implement a diet change yourself.
Conclusion on a Diet Plan
Be consistent with your dog’s food portion sizes which relate to caloric intake. Also, reevaluate the dog food you are providing. The sames goes for the amount of physical activity and play time. Strictly limit treats as rewards. Spend more quality time with your best buddy. This plan will benefit both of you! Remember, if your dog is overweight only you are to blame!