If you can no longer feel your dog’s ribs or shoulder blades, it might be an indicator that it’s time for some dog weight loss to happen. Dogs that remain a healthy weight throughout their lives can avoid developing serious health complications and joint issues. The good news is, helping your dog lose the extra weight is surprisingly easy!

Calculate Calories

The easiest place to get started is by reading your dog’s food labels and get an idea of how many calories they eat each meal. You simply need to ensure your dog is burning more calories than they are consuming. If you’re unsure how many calories your dog should be consuming consult your vet.

If you’re interested in calculating calories yourself, divide your dog’s weight by 2.2, then multiply that by 30, now add 70. This should equal the number of calories you need to feed your dog. Measuring your dog’s food every meal is important to ensure they are not accidentally being overfed, especially if they are on a weightless journey.

You might be surprised to learn how much human food can affect their weight. To you, it is just a scrap of two from dinner, but these calories quickly add up for our doggies. When you stop feeding them any human food is a great way to eliminate those unnecessary calories.

Fewer Carbs, More Protein

Dog weight loss begins with their diet and a healthy gut. Dogs are omnivores and need a balanced diet of meat, vegetables, grains and rarely need carbs, if at all. If you are working towards a slimmer dog, check their food label. If you switch your food to a brand with more protein and fewer carbs, this could solve the weight problem.

Some dog parents make their dogs meals themselves to ensure they are getting only exactly what they need. Dog food labels can be confusing with many not accurately stating how much of each ingredient makes up the contents. Cooking your dog’s favorite fish or protein every once in a while for dinner, or steaming their favorite vegetables, can be a treat for them and peace of mind for you.

Weigh Them Regularly

Regularly weighing your dog can help you keep tabs on them. The more you weigh them the more familiar you will become with how their daily routine affects their weight. In weeks where you get out for longer walks, you might notice a slimmer dog, compared to weeks where the walks were cut short.

Weighing them will also help you decide when it might be time to add in more food or continue to decrease their calories. Guessing how much your dog weighs and the amount of food they are eating is going to make helping them lose weight so much harder. Weigh them every morning or every night and keep a record. This could also be super helpful information for your vet or pet health therapist.

Change Their Treats And Praise Techniques

Unhealthy dog treats are all over the market so odds are the treats your dog absolutely adores, may not be the healthiest. Double-check your treat back and read the label. Make sure your dog treats are as high quality as the food you feed them.

If you’re looking to eliminate store-bought treats all together you can still offer your dog a snack to praise them. Many dog owners have discovered that their dogs love veggies, such as baby carrots, celery, broccoli, green beans, or cucumber. Vegetables also help your dog feel fuller longer. This can be super beneficial to try if you are trying to get your dog to eat less at mealtime.If they’re fussy you can try dehydrated treats for dogs whether it be sweet potato or a protein.

Dogs also love ice cubes! They love sucking and chewing on them, especially on hot days. Your dog could begin asking for ice cubes more than their old treats.

Daily Exercise

This is a no-brainer when you’re trying to help your dog shed their extra weight. Make sure your dog is at least getting 20-30 minutes of exercise each day. This helps boost their immune systems and improves their cardiovascular health.

Take your dog with you. Go on a walk, a hike, the farmers market, wherever! Besides getting you off the couch, the benefits extend to your pup as well. This companionship can help relieve stress, take in some needed vitamin D, improve the health of your pup. Dog’s are so happy to come along, and a dog’s happiness affects their overall health.

If your dog is aging it is still important you keep them moving as much as they can. Don’t exhaust them, but ensure they move their legs and stretch a few times a day. Joint massage and stretch exercises can help lubricate your dog’s joints and can keep them more comfortable for longer. Helping your dog lose weight is important in helping them avoid arthritis and other joint issues in the future.

These issues can be super painful for your dog and decrease their overall happiness. If you don’t have pet insurance the medication, therapy, or potential surgeries can get up into the thousands before you know it.

At The End Of The Day...

If you’re ever unsure if your dog’s digestive system is healthy or if they are overweight, get in touch with your vet. Keeping our dogs at a healthy weight can help them avoid other serious health conditions. This can include arthritis and joint issues, heart health, diabetes, and more!

Though dog insurance plans may not be necessary until your pet is older, it's always a good idea to protect yourself and your pet by signing up for a plan that will help cover the costs of unforeseen vet bills. This could be particularly helpful if your dog already struggles with weight.

Dog wellness plans can also be a very helpful part of total pet healthcare as they cover your annual check-ups and other preventative and routine care. Get in touch with us today and we can help you find the perfect plan for your dog.