Key Components of Healthy Dog Weight

Weight loss in older dogs can be tricky, especially when dealing with an injury or a physical limitation due to age. Furthermore, it can be worrisome for them to remain that way because of the extra pressure it puts on joints and even muscles. If we are dealing with a painful joint, we tend to shift our weight to relieve that pain. Dogs can find similar pain relief tactics but are unable to communicate what they are feeling so it’s even more difficult to know when other issues are developing. As you can see, the physical health issues of a dog can create a chain effect.

If your dog is already dealing with weight issues, don’t feel alone. There are a lot of pet owners trying to find ways to help their dog lose weight to prevent future health issues. We’ve compiled a list of tips about food and ways to help your dog slim down and keep active even if they aren’t able to run as fast or as long as they used to! Remember: even daily walks no matter how short or slow can make a positive impact.

Food

We always think of food when we think of weight loss. So let’s look at all the times when a dog is taking in calories.

  • Meals (an obvious one!): try to give your dog more protein and less carbohydrates. This will help your dog to feel fuller and add to their nutrition. 

  • Treats: if these are a part of your day already whether it be a ritual or part of a training regimen, keep in mind that they can add up quickly. Dogs actually rather receive treats more often than getting fewer but bigger ones.

  • Food-scraps: sometimes we get so accustom to letting the dog be the vacuum cleaner, especially if there is a baby or toddler making a big contribution! However not only could that be a lot more calories consumed, it could also enable them to eat something that is unhealthy or hazardous to their health without you knowing.

Exercise

This will look different for every dog. No matter what their limitations, encouraging them to go outside and throw around a Frisbee or ball. If your dog doesn’t have any physical limitations, going for a run in the dog park or a long walk through the woods will help them significantly. Walking at a consistent pace will help them burn more calories. Find something that you both can enjoy and make it a part of your daily routine so that it will become a mindless activity that you aren’t working hard to fit in. Vary it up with where you’re walking, how much, etc. Keep it fun and upbeat and positive. It’s pretty great that you’re reaping the benefits of healthy exercise too!

For dogs having trouble with their mobility: remember how healthy taking walks can be. This can be even better for them because there is a lot less pressure being put on their joints. Simple walks around the blog one or two times a day. If they are lacking the motivation to walk far, think about some fun toys or a low calorie treat you can reward them with for getting up and moving around.

The biggest thing is to remember that every little bit helps. We often want quick results and it can be hard to stick with a plan, but you will see improvement with consistency and sticking to a plan!