Although overweight canines may look cute with their plump bellies, the extra weight is certainly not healthy. Obese dogs are far more likely to suffer from ailments such as diabetes and high blood pressure. If your dog has packed on some extra pounds, it’s time to take action. Here are some tips to help your pal to slim down.

Reduce Total Calorie Intake

Many pet owners tend to make the mistake of overfeeding. In fact, more than half of today’s pets are considered to be overweight. According to Charles D. Whitworth, DVM, the unnecessary calories are bound to cause weight gain. This is especially true for the dogs that spend most of the day lounging around. If you’re having trouble figuring out the ideal diet, Whitworth Animal Clinic will be more than happy to help.

Switch to a Weight-Reducing Dog Food

Although dog food is readily available at any supermarket, quality will vary from one brand to the next. Always choose dog food that’s packed with nutritious ingredients. Be especially careful about choosing food that contains artificial additives and preservatives. It’s also a good idea to select meals high in protein. Research shows that protein does a better job of helping curb hunger.

overweight dog | photo of an overweight beagleBreak a Sweat

Don’t allow your dog to become a couch potato. Like people, dogs need to exercise on a regular basis. Even a simple game of fetch can burn a lot of calories. Of course, a daily walk around the neighborhood can also make a big difference. If your dog has developed joint problems because of their additional weight, consider swim therapy. It’ll enhance fitness without putting excess pressure on their body.

Healthier Treats

Upon spotting a treat, most dogs jump for joy. While there’s nothing wrong with giving your canine a treat, be sure to make healthy choices. Commercial treats high in fat and sugar can cause a dog’s weight to balloon. Fruits and vegetables are far better alternatives. Some good options include apple crisps, banana chips, baby carrots, and green beans. However, keep in mind that not all fruits are appropriate for dogs. Grapes, raisins, and cherries can be especially toxic.

Keep Your Dog’s Mind Stimulated

When feeling bored, some dogs tend to overeat. This is why it’s so important to stimulate your dog’s mind. A puzzle feeder will certainly help keep your buddy entertained. In order to get to the treat, dogs must actually think.

If you need any help with reducing your dog’s weight, be sure to contact Whitworth Animal Clinic. Although our veterinary practice is located in Madison, we proudly serve all of the surrounding areas in north Alabama. From vaccinations to emergency veterinary care, we provide a long list of important pet services. Don’t hesitate to make an appointment with Charles D. Whitworth, DVM.

*This article is not meant to take the place of professional veterinarian advice. If you have questions, call the staff at Whitworth Animal Clinic or make an appointment with a vet in your area.

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