Obesity is a serious health problem in dogs, affecting an estimated 1 in 3 pets in the United States. In fact, October 12th has been deemed National Pet Obesity Awareness Day in order to express the dangers of this health condition in our beloved dogs. In this blog, we are covering the warning signs and solutions to noticing this health condition.
How can I tell if my dog is overweight?
As a pet parent, you are your dog’s #1 advocate. In order to manage your dog’s weight, it will be your responsibility to watch what they are eating. The good news is that there are many things you can do to prevent and treat obesity in your dog. The first step in preventing or treating obesity in your dog is to be able to recognize if they are overweight or obese. Ideally, it is best to notice their weight before it gets out of hand. Here are some signs to look for:
- Difficulty feeling their ribs
- No visible waistline
- Excess body fat, especially around the abdomen
- Trouble getting up or down
- Excess panting
- Reluctance to exercise
If you notice any of these signs, it's important to talk to your veterinarian. They can help you determine if your dog is overweight or obese and may help you develop a plan to help them lose weight safely.
How to check your dog’s weight at home
- Use a scale to weigh your dog
- Compare your dogs composition to the Body Condition Scoring Chart
- Perform an at-home body check
How to prevent your dog from becoming obese
Obesity in dogs can lead to a number of other health issues, including diabetes, heart disease, arthritis, and cancer. As we know, dogs are naturally active creatures. When their physical activity is hindered and declining, avoidable issues may become their unfortunate reality.
Feeding your dog a healthy diet: Make sure you are feeding your dog a balanced diet that is appropriate for their age, breed, and activity level. Avoid giving them table scraps or processed foods whenever possible.
Believe it or not, most dog treats on the market do not have your dog’s health in mind. When shopping for dog treats, beware of the following ingredients:
- BHA and BHT (Preservatives)
- Corn Syrup
- Wheat (Filler)
It’s best to keep it simple when it comes to do food. Bully Sticks Direct offers few-ingredient dog treats that are all-natural, preservative free, and hormone-free. You can pick your desired treat based on size and preferred protein!
Exercising with your dog regularly: Like humans, dogs need regular exercise to stay healthy. With a busy schedule, this can be hard to make time for so it may be ideal to start small. Try getting your dog outside for at least 15 to 30 minutes of exercise per day. This could include walks, runs, or playing fetch. These physical activities can definitely be done indoors. In fact, it’s worth checking out these suggestions for how to mentally stimulate your dog.
Monitor your dog’s weight: Weigh your dog regularly and keep track of their weight gain or weight loss. It’s important to remember that weight fluctuation is normal, especially as your dog ages. As a pet parent, it’s your job to monitor their weight and know when it becoming unhealthy. If you are concerned that your dog is gaining more weight than normal, make an appointment with your veterinarian to discuss diet and weight.
How to help your dog lose weight
Reduce calorie intake or switch to low-calorie dog food
Your dog’s diet may be the main culprit of their weight gain. One of the most important things you can do to help your dog lose weight is to reduce their calorie intake. This can be done by feeding them smaller portions of their regular food, or by switching to a lower-calorie food. Homemade dog food is another options. The simpler, the better. You should also avoid giving your dog table scraps or other human food, as this can add extra calories to their diet.
The importance of your dog getting exercise
In addition to reducing your dog's calorie intake, it is also important to increase their exercise levels. Regular exercise can help your dog burn off excess calories and build muscle, which can help them lose weight and improve their overall health. If your dog is not a natural athlete or not accustomed to time outside, start slowly with their physical exercising and gradually increase the amount of exercise as your dog gets stronger.
Make the switch to all-natural dog treats
As mentioned above, your dog’s diet is a key player in their physical health. It can be nearly impossible to ignore their puppy-dog eyes when they are begging for human food but it is in their best interest that you limit their treats and table scraps. Still, we don’t want to take all of the fun out of eating! We know that treats are an important tool for positive reinforcement, training, and rewards. It is not necessary to omit treats from your dog’s diet entirely. It is important to make sure you are rewarding them with dog treats that are safe and healthy.
If you are looking for few-ingredient and all-natural dog treats, you should consider Bully Sticks Direct! Bully Sticks Direct offers your dog a treat high in protein and without any added preservatives or hormones. Their stomach will stay happy and healthy!
Making your dog’s health a priority
When your dog is physically healthy, they have more energy to play, go for walks, and explore the world around them. They are also less likely to develop chronic health conditions such as arthritis, obesity, and diabetes. We all want to live a long and healthy life, especially with our furry friends by our side. As a pet parent, the responsibility of your dog’s health falls on your shoulders. Remember these key tips:
Talk with your vet. Your veterinarian will know the ideal weight and size for your dog’s age and breed. They can help you develop a weight loss plan, which may include changes to their diet and/or medication.
Tailor their diet to their weight loss goals. Homemade dog food, wet dog food, low-calorie dog food, and all-natural dog treats are just a few ways to improve your dog’s diet.
Increase their exercise. Gradually increase your dog's exercise routine. Aim for at least 15 to 30 minutes a day.
It can be overwhelming when trying to make the best decision for your dog’s health. Luckily, Bully Sticks Direct always has your dogs health in mind. Bully Stick Direct offers a catalog of dog treats tailored to the variety of sizes, breeds, and preferences of dogs around the world. Shop online today! #YourChoiceForChews