When the weather cools down, it’s easy to put exercise on the back burner and, unfortunately, that usually includes your pup. And while you’re dog won’t exactly be in a bikini this summer, it is important to keep their weight consistent and get them down to size for a fun and active season. Here are a few weight loss pointers you can use all year ‘round.
● Most recommended feeding amounts are tailored to adult, intact animals. Having your dog spayed or neutered can make them more susceptible to weight gain, so consider subtracting a small amount if that’s the case for your pet.
● If you’re like us and enjoy treating your pet, you must allot for it in their feedings. When measuring your pet’s food at mealtime, ask yourself how many treats or extra calories they’ve gotten (or will get) that day and subtract accordingly.
● Exercise is key. A good off-leash run is always the best exercise, but when life kicks in that’s not always feasible – try to aim for three 30-minute walks a week; it’s good for both of you! (Hint: swimming’s even better!)
● If your pet is significantly overweight, consider a leaner diet, feed less than the recommended amount, and withhold treats, especially table scraps. We know how easy it is to overfeed those sweet faces that love to eat, but having an overweight dog is unhealthy and can shorten their life considerably. (Just for reference, the Association for Pet Obesity Prevention cites that even 10 extra pieces of kibble per day can yield up to a pound of weight per year – multiply that by a lifetime and you’ve got one overweight unhappy companion.)
● Make them work for it. Consider a slow feeder or activity-based feeding ritual that makes your pet eat slower or move to get their food (think running them around the couch two or three times before putting the bowl down.)