weight problem in dogDogs, like humans, also have weight issues. Like us, they are either overweight or underweight. Cute and fat little puppies are adorable but, when your dog is way past babyhood and is still really chubby, it could be a serious ailment, like heart problems. Likewise, if your dog is way too slim, it could also be a sign of a serious illness such as diabetes.

Factors that determine your dog’s weight

There are many reasons why your dog has weight issues. You must take note of any and all factors that contribute to it.

  • Diet – what makes up your dog diet
  • Exercise – is you dog getting enough?
  • Other health problems
  • High fat snacks – are you feeding your dog too much high fat snacks?
  • Number meals a day

What you can do to curb your dog’s weight issues?

Have your dog checked by its veterinarian

First and foremost, know if your pet is suffering from an illness. Take your doctor to his/her veterinarian and have him/her checked for thyroid problem, cancer, diabetes, etc. When you have ruled out health problems, you can start with a health and exercise regimen for your pet.

Create a healthy lifestyle for your pet

Your pet’s diet should be natural and high-quality. Healthy foods help your dog live longer. You can see the results of feeding your dog fresh foods through a shinier coat, less bowel movements, less odor, less digestive problems. Pet nutritionists suggest that a home-made diet is best for your dog. However, if this is not possible, pet foods consisting of two meat sauces and whole grains can be used as substitute.

Also, a diet of chicken, turkey or lamb as the first ingredient is suggested, along with whole grains. Avoid high preservative foods which contain synthetic preservatives such as butylated hydroxyanisol (BHA), butylated hydroxytoluene (BHT), propyl gallate, propylene glycol and ethoxyquin.

Aside from a healthy and fresh diet, structure your dog’s feeding time. Nutritionists say that it is important that your dog be fed 3-4 times a day. When a dog is fed only once a day, its body produces more insulin which prevents fat from being released into the blood stream and burned by other body tissues.

When insulin levels are not normal, your dog’s brain and hormones thinks the body is starving and therefore stores more fat to save itself. Several small meals a day is enough to make your dog’s body burn fat more effectively. Several small meals a days speeds up metabolism. Nutritionists suggest that your give your dog breakfast, lunch, midday snack, dinner and a light snack before bedtime. Nutritionists also suggest the following as healthy snack alternatives to high-fat dog snacks:

  • Carrot
  • Rice cake
  • Apple
  • Pear
  • Peach
  • Hard Boiled egg
  • Scrambled egg
  • Oatmeal
  • Low sodium saltine cracker with peanut butter
  • Cottage cheese
  • Plain yogurt
  • Celery
  • Homemade meatball
  • Chicken
  • Egg noodles

Exercise

A lifestyle change will not be complete without exercise. Make sure your pet dog gets at least half an hour of exercise everyday. Exercising burns fat and speeds up metabolism. Plus, if your dog is getting enough exercise, he/she will perform better because its body’s able to carry blood and oxygen to the muscles.

However, you should not over-exercise older dogs as they can suffer from exhaustion. Do not take your dog out to exercise when it’s to hot outside or it’s raining. They can can get sick from extreme whether conditions like humans.

Finally, do not over exercise your dog if it’s suffering from epilepsy, heart problems or hypoglycemia. Ask your veterinarian how long should you let your dog exercise if it has said illnesses or if you should make her exercise at all.