Why do I need to watch my dog’s weight?

Just like humans us doggos need to be careful that we don’t get too cuddly because excess body fat can cause an increase in the risk of serious illnesses such as diabetes, cardio and respiratory complications, arthritis and reduced immunity… plus a possibility of reducing their life span 😔. Of course there are so many factors that can impact weight gain including breed, age, genetics and general lifestyle but there are still some things that you can do to make sure you’re keeping your pooch as healthy as possible.

What are our top tips?

  • Always stick to a plan or routine so that your dog gets used to things and knows what to expect
  • Spread your dog’s food over two meals per day (rather than one large meal), this spreads the energy they need throughout the day and stops them rushing their meal
  • Be firm about treats and scraps and do not give your dog extra outside of his meals
  • Do not encourage begging by feeding human food
  • Make sure you feed your dog in the same room, from the same bowls at the same time so they know that is when they are fed and won’t ask for extra at other times
  • Make sure what you do feed is balanced with a range of nutrients

“The health of your dog’s gut can affect everything from their general health, their mental wellbeing and even their weight. The beneficial bacteria in the gut are essential but there are lots of things you can do to support this! Read more here
Dr Paul Boland, JP Holistic Nutrition

What’s the best practice for maintaining a healthy weight?

  • Start young – learning good behaviour, like not begging, is best learned young although (despite popular myth) it is possible to teach an old dog new tricks!
  • Exercise – but don’t treat it like the gym! Dog’s are active animals and in order to get a good workout like a human you would need to exercise them for hours. That said, a healthy happy dog should be exercised daily – a sleepy dog is a well exercised dog!

What should I do if I think my dog is overweight?

  • Keep a food diary, write down everything you dog consumes so that you can discuss this with your vet
  • Make small changes at first as changing everything all at once could make you dog anxious and that won’t help at all
  • Learn to ignore the begging eyes! Dogs are natural scavengers, they are genetically programmed to hunt for food even when they’re not hungry so often when they’re begging it’s habit rather than hunger so if you can learn to ignore those begging eyes it will be much better for them.