5 Tips to Help Your Dog Shed Weight (not hair)
Our FitDog Friday blog post continues our discussion about keys to a healthy dog. Last week, we talked about how exercise and diet are both important components to keeping your dog fit and healthy. We emphasized basal metabolism and how, except in the most unusual cases, a dog’s calorie burn from exercise is 10-30% of their total daily burn and thus, diet must be closely monitored even if you have an active dog.
Given that fact, I want to point out how exercise can have a huge impact on your dog’s weight over time. Let’s use the same example from last week. We had a 50 lb. dog that we estimated would burn around 100 calories per day with 30 minutes of jogging per day. Compared to this dog’s basal calorie burn of 725, 100 doesn’t seem like much. But, over time, it can make all the difference.
Assuming this dog’s feeding remained the same, if they stopped exercising, it would gain over 10 lbs. in the course of 1 year. That is 20% of their total body weight and would put them on the edge of obesity! You see, that is the reality of getting overweight and out of shape (or conversely, getting lean and in shape). It happens slowly over time, which makes it harder to notice the changes and in my opinion, harder to keep under control. It creeps up slowly, insidiously, and next thing you know, your dog is overweight. Below are some tricks that we have used with SlimDoggy Jack during his weight loss period. We also use these, to some degree, on an ongoing basis to keep our dogs near their perfect weight.
5 Tips to Help Your Dog Stay Lean
Are you trying to help your dog lose a few pounds? Perhaps getting them ready for bathing suit season? 😉 Here are 5 tips that can really help you stay on track during the weight loss period and maintain an ideal weight once your dog has reached their goal.
- Start with a vet visit. Get your dog a proper physical exam to make sure there are no underlying heath issues and get your vet’s opinion on a healthy target weight.
- Weigh your dog frequently. You will get a baseline weight from your vet visit. Ask them if you can swing by every 2-3 weeks for a weigh in (they will say yes). Weight loss should be slow and steady so don’t expect to see drastic changes from weigh-in to weigh-in. Rather, use the information to make ‘course corrections’ if progress is stalled.
- Exercise your dog a little longer or more intensely. This will increase the calorie burn and over time it will add up to accelerated weight loss. Plus your dog will fell better and stronger.
- Be precise with your feeding amounts. Don’t rely on the dog food label to tell you how much to feed your dog. As we wrote about before, this information is too generic and likely not applicable to your dog. If possible, use the SlimDoggy app which will tell you exactly how many calories your dog requires based on their daily activity. Adjust the daily feeding amounts if your dogs exercise activity varies from day to day.
- Measure. Once you know how much to feed, make sure you are serving the correct amount. Use a measuring cup to be certain. And don’t forget to account for treats! They can add up over the course of the day and if not monitored, can sabotage your dog’s weight loss progress. We sell SlimDoggy scoops to help you measure accurately (in the Store).
Do you have any weight loss or exercise tips that have worked with your dog? Please share them in the comments.
Please enjoy our FitDog Friday Blog Hop brought to you by SlimDoggy and our co-hosts Peggy’s Pet Place and To Dog With Love. Join the Hop or just enjoy the links below – lots of fun fitness tips and advice!
We have some extra special giveaways this week for Bloggers who link up to our Blog Hop, but we are also offering prizes for our readers too, just enter a comment on any of our FitDog Friday Blog Hop Hosts sites. Read about our special giveaway raffle here.