Many dogs will have snuffled lots of extra treats over the last few months, so now is the perfect time to focus on their health.
Here are our top tips for helping dogs lose weight and get fitter.
With cold temperatures and the constant threat of lashing rain or snow, it is understandable why many owners walk less at this time of year.
Daily exercise is still so important for us and our dogs. If the weather is unpleasant but tolerable it's worth wrapping up extra warm and setting off on a winter adventure. 2024 could be the perfect time to try out a different walking route. With exciting new scents for your dog to follow and a change in scenery for you, it might just reinvigorate walkies for both you and your canine companion.
However, there will be times, during extreme weather when it's much safer for us to be inside. There is still plenty of physical and mental stimulation to be had at home.
Why not try an at-home boredom buster? To make it even healthier, cut out the treats and instead let your dog focus on the excitement of shredding paper.
Read the MK9 Plus Guide to a DIY Dog Puzzle
Consider a Light Diet
According to the Royal Veterinary College, at least 1 in 14 dogs are now considered overweight. So, if your dog is on the chunkier side, you certainly aren’t alone.
If your dog has gained weight over the festive period, it is worth considering a switch to a more calorie-controlled food.
Our Fresh Pressed™️ Senior Light diets have been developed especially for overweight dogs. These foods contain a lower fat and calorie level, without compromising on our trademark delicious taste. Blended with Sweet Potato to provide slow-release energy and keep dogs fuller for longer. Meaning your pooch won't even notice they are on a diet…
The added powerful joint care pack (Glucosamine, Chondroitin and Green Lipped Mussel) provides important support for overweight dogs. Giving them extra protection and helping them maintain healthy flexible joints.
Keep Track of your Dog's Weight
Regular weighing is essential for keeping your dog healthy and noticing the subtle changes.
Body scoring can be done easily at home, here is a brief guide on what to look out for:
1) Look at your dog from above. Does their waist (from rib cage to hips) curve in or out? If you aren’t seeing a visible waist this could indicate the dog is overweight.
2) Next, look at your dog from the side. Does their tummy tuck in or go straight across? Are their hips, spine and ribs easily visible or covered in a slight layer of fat?
If their tummy drops down and hangs low, this can be an indication of excess weight.
3) Lastly, run your hands across your dog’ hips, spine and ribs. The ribs should typically feel how your knuckles feel when you lay your hand flat and rub your fingers across. If the ribs are hard to feel that can be an indication the dog is overweight.
Weigh your Dogs Food
Feeding a lighter diet is just one part of the puzzle when it comes to dog health and fitness.
Consistently feeding the correct amount is just as important. If you are estimating how much to use each day, then you could be giving your pooch a lot more food than is necessary.
One of the best and most accurate ways to feed is by electronically weighing their daily food. This easy habit can make a huge overall difference to your dog’s weight.
Our feeding guide is based on the energy requirements for dogs getting between one and three hours of exercise per day. If your dog is not so active, reduce their feeding amount by 10%.
Reduce the Treats
Of course, completely cutting out ALL treats would be very difficult and a little unfair. After all, our pets still deserve to be spoilt from time to time.
However, it is worth keeping track of how many treats you are feeding. Every tasty morsel your dog swallows contributes to their daily calorie intake, too many snacks across the day can easily lead to weight gain.
It is worth reducing your dog's daily treats and sticking to lower calorie but still delicious options. Our tasty Tribal Trainers are soft, small treats made with 70% meat or fish. These tiny but ultra-tasty treats are perfect for keeping the calories down but still rewarding your dogs' good behaviour.
Alternatively, the Tribal Tuna and Olive Oil Rewards provide a bit more crunch but are still low in fat.
Remember human food is full of fat and can be unhealthy for our dogs. Stick to tasty pet-safe treats instead.
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