Weight loss programs for dogs need to be designed to fit the dog’s age, physical health, and amount of obesity. When these factors are used to design a weight loss program, a dog can lose the right amount of weight in a healthy manner.
Choosing a Weight Loss Program for Dogs
One of the most common mistakes pet owners make when they put their dogs on a weight loss program is to jump into an intensive exercise program that the dog is not physically capable of handling. Pulled muscles, arthritis, and in some cases catastrophic injuries to the joints and muscles can occur as a result.
The right weight loss program for a dog will be very gradual. In dogs that are extremely obese, elderly, or who have existing medical conditions, it is vital that exercises begin slowly. This means that the most exercise a dog should have is a short walk three times a week. In time, the duration and amount of walks can slowly be increased.
Diet is an important component of the dog’s weight loss program as well, and obese dogs should be placed on a weight loss diet. Once they have returned to their ideal body weight, they can be placed on a weight management diet. Pet owners should follow the feeding guidelines to the letter, but if their dog is having problems adjusting to smaller portions light calorie foods can be provided as well. One of the best light calorie foods pet owners can use to help their dogs handle a severe case of munchies are green beans. This food is filling, low calorie, no fat, and dogs usually enjoy the taste.
Pet owners need to be consistent with their dog’s weight loss program, and it is important not to become frustrated by slow weight loss. It generally takes many months of dieting and exercise before dogs can return to their ideal body weight.