A word from our sponsors: Lintbells’ top tips to help overweight dogs lose weight
CARRYING a few extra pounds is not much fun – and being too heavy isn’t good for health, happiness and longevity.
So how can you tell if your dog is getting too chubby, and what do you need to do to help overweight dogs lose weight?
Experts in natural pet health, and one of the sponsors of Just Dogs Live – Lintbells – have some words of advice to prevent your pooch from tipping the scales in the wrong direction.
Firstly – how can you tell if your dog is overweight?
There are a number of look, touch and feels tests you can do check if your dog is overweight, and this video from the PDSA is a good starting point.
The first place to start when it comes to finding your pet’s perfect weight has to be your vets. They’ll be able to give you an accurate idea of what’s healthy for your dog. They may even have a weight loss clinic you can join together!
It is important to recognise that excess weight can lead to a number of health problems, including putting a strain on:
- Joints and ligaments
- Circulatory system
- Internal organs
There are clear links between weight and lifespan too, so for happiness and healthiness in the long term, it’s kinder to say no when they beg, however cute those puppy dog eyes!
Top tips for keeping your pet’s weight in check:
- Keep track of eats and treats and think about putting a list on the fridge or setting up a WhatsApp group among family members to ensure your dogs isn’t getting too many treats, because let’s face it – he / she isn’t going to turn their nose up are they!
- The simple action of keeping a shared food diary can reduce excess treating and doubled-up meals
- It’s also really important to properly measure their food by weighing out portions.
- Get the whole family on board. Another factor in pet podge is our own lack of understanding. Sometimes younger – or older – members of the family don’t consider the consequences of sneaking your pet a sausage. But it’s really important to get everyone on board… it’s OK to feel sorry for the hungry dog and distract him or her with cuddles, games, toys and walkies, it’s not OK to break the diet.
- Calorie counting. As we all know, weight loss isn’t rocket science – in the majority of cases, it’s as simple as eating less and moving more! You simply need to balance the calories ingested with the calories your pet burns. To help them lose weight, they’ll need a deficit, so their body starts to burn off excess fat. Working out the right number of calories for your dog’s breed, age and exercise level is a job for your vet or vet nurse
- Top tip – Always take treats out of your dog’s calorie allowance. Chews and nibbles can quickly add up!
To find out more about Lintbells visit their website or come and see the team at Just Dogs Live 2018 – held at the East of England Arena and Events Centre in Peterborough on July 6, 7 and 8.