If you have a dog that has gotten a little chunky, then you may find yourself worried about their health and well-being. However, you may not know what you can or should do about the situation. Get to know some of the ways that you can go about helping your dog lose weight and get healthy again. Then, you can start making changes in your dog's routine and life to improve their health right away.
Switch to a Grain-Free Dog Food
One of the issues with your dog's weight may be the food they are eating. Most standard dry and canned dog foods contain large amounts of grains like rice, wheat, and more. These grains are considered to be fillers. Fillers are calorie-dense ingredients that are not necessarily healthy for your dog. In the wild, dogs primarily consume meat as their source of nutrition. As such, commercially prepared dog foods do not often follow a dog's natural diet.
To help your dog avoid needless calories and to give them the most nutrient-rich food possible, you may want to switch to a grain-free dog food. These are high-protein food options that have far fewer empty calories. This can help your dog achieve and maintain a healthy weight and feel and act healthier overall.
Change Their Snacks to Fresh Fruits and Vegetables
Much like your dog's dog food, treats can be full of fillers and calories that are not necessarily good for your dog. Instead of giving them snacks full of artificial flavors and fillers, try giving them fresh fruits and vegetables. Baby carrots, for example, are a fun, crunchy snack for dogs as they are sweet and crunch like a chew bone.
Other options for fruit and veggie snacks include apple slices, pieces of banana, celery, and blueberries. These treats are low-calorie compared to the commercially-prepared dog treats and are packed with nutrients. Most dogs enjoy these fresh, healthy snacks and will readily eat them without any hesitation.
Go to Your Vet to Check for Other Underlying Issues
When your dog is overweight, there may be many causes for their condition. They may simply be eating too much and not getting enough exercise. However, if you have them on a strict diet and take them for walks every day, but they are still having weight issues, there may be more going on than meets the eye.
If you have tried making these basic changes and still see no difference in your dog's weight, you will want to head to your veterinarian's office. They can test for various conditions including hypothyroidism and cancer that may be contributing to your dog's weight problems. Hypothyroidism causes a dog's metabolism to slow which can cause weight gain. Cancerous tumors can grow quite large and make your dog appear overweight when they are actually carrying the weight of a large tumor.
Now that you know some of the ways that you can help your dog with their weight issues, you can get started right away. For more information, contact your local veterinarian clinic.