Okay, I’ll start off with apologising for such a rude question. However, obesity in humans is kind of a hot topic at the moment, with new studies & advertisements sharing the dangers obesity can cause us. But how many of us take into account our dogs weight? Just like us, dogs can suffer from all the same complications & as the responsible party for their care; what can you do to make sure your dog stays at a healthy weight?
Exercise – How much should I exercise my dog each day?
It should go without saying, but your dog needs to exercise – daily. Not only does exercise help with their weight, it also helps with their behaviour! A bored dog can be a destructive dog, keeping them stimulated through exercise is a fantastic way of keeping your dog healthy in mind & body.
Obviously, dogs come in all sizes. From the smallest Teacup Chihuahua to the biggest St. Bernard; they will require different levels of exercise throughout the day. Below we’ve attached a rough guideline of breeds with the recommended amount of exercise they should experience a day:
This is only a rough guide, if you find your dog is still full of energy when you get home, they may need even more exercise. It’s also the same on the opposite end, if your dog is struggling; consider cutting back.
Exercising Puppies: You’ve just picked your puppy up & the thing hasn’t stopped running around yet. It’s nibbling on your hands, it’s probably nibbling on your sofa too. You may be thinking about taking them on a big walk to calm them down. However due to their growing bones & joints, over-exercising is a serious concern. It’s important to take it slow while your pups growing up. The general rule of thumb is exercise them for 5 minutes per month of age, twice a day. Meaning a three month old puppy should be exercised for 15 minutes twice; once in the morning & once in the evening. Keep in mind this is only a guideline, as it will vary between breed & size, as you get to know your dog more, you’ll get more used to a schedule of exercise.
Exercising Senior Dogs: As you notice the signs of seniority, which sadly tends to lead to some health problems; it’s important that you keep your dog active. Your dog will need to rest more & won’t be able to stay at the pace they once could. The best advice is to keep exercise regular but gentle, keeping them active while being easy on their joints. A great alternative exercise to pick up as they get older is swimming. If they enjoy the water, it can be a fantastic way to stay active which keeps strain levels down on their joints. Once again, it always helps to understand your dog’s limits, make sure you don’t overdo it!
Food – An important factor.
If every meal you ate was pizza… well you’d probably have a great time. However chances are you’d most likely have trouble keeping the pounds off. For dogs, it’s the same situation. If you feed them cheap but appetising brand foods, your dog will gulp it down but it won’t do any good for their waistline, not to mention their health. It is very easy to be fooled by pretty packaging on dog food claiming to be the best around, with misleading information, an enticing price & gobbled up by your dog when fed, you may think you’ve struck gold in picking that food. This however is often unfortunately not the case in most cases. A vast majority of big dog brands will use unhealthy ingredients which may entice your dog more when feeding.
It’s important to research exactly what you should feed your dog, there are plenty of options on the market; some are great, some not so much. If you fancy an in-depth guide into the options available to you, we’ve so delightfully put one together in a previous blog! You can find the link here: https://www.brownspetrange.com/blogs/news/the-impossible-question-what-should-i-feed-my-dog
I think my dog is overweight - what should I do?
So you’ve come to terms that your pup might be a bit plump, that’s okay! There are several options available to you & we’re here to help you along the way!
The Amount: First things first, make sure you’re feeding them the right amount of food daily. It is very easy just to fill up a bowl & leave out for your dog for the day, however most dogs will readily eat up all of the food you offer, even if it is way too much! Most dog foods you purchase come with feeding guidelines which are important to follow. If not, the general rule of thumb for feeding is to feed 5% of their bodyweight daily for puppies & 2% of bodyweight for adult dogs!
The Food: You know the saying ‘Weight-loss is made in the kitchen.’ It works the same for dogs too. Feeding the right food throughout their life is incredibly important to a dogs health. However if you’ve reached the point where your dog is overweight, you may need a specialist diet designed for that exact need. Brown’s Pet Range are happy to help with that with our Light & Sensitive Food.
Our Light & Sensitive Food: A food purposely designed for dogs who: have sensitive stomachs, excessive weight or low activity levels. It contains lower fat & protein levels to help with weight loss, while keeping all the necessary & beneficial vitamins, minerals & nutrients to keep them healthy & comes in tasty chicken & beef varieties!! This diet is completely Gluten Free & Hypoallergenic also. Not only that, Light & Sensitive contains a Pro-Biotic ingredient called MacroGard which offers a huge amount of benefits on its own such as: Stronger Immune System, Improved Skin & Coat, Improved Digestion & Stool, Better Teeth & Gums plus an Increase to Their Natural Defences. You can find this diet on our website or in-store.
Raw Food: Rising in popularity in the pet food market & for good reason. Raw food can take away the worries of what ingredients you are feeding your dog. Feeding a raw diet at first may seem daunting, but once you get into the routine it is almost just as easy as dry food!
Natural Healthy Treats: Even when you’re helping your dog lose weight, it doesn’t mean you have to stop treating your dog every now & then. Our Brown’s Natural Treat Range offers a great alternative snack! All our natural treats contain no added ingredients & are low in fat! You can find the full range here: https://www.brownspetrange.com/collections/natural-treats
Following the information above regarding exercise will play a pivotal role in keeping your dog in shape. However if your dog is overweight due in part to inactivity, it’s best not to jump straight into it. Start off slow & see how their energy levels are. If they need a break let them do so & slowly build to a more regular exercise routine. If your dog is cool with water, swimming is yet again another fantastic exercise for overweight dogs as it helps with any muscle & joint strain. Another fun activity can be introducing agility courses, we provide some beginner sets which can be a fun alternative exercise, while receiving some behavioural training along the way! They can be found here: https://www.brownspetrange.com/collections/dog-agility
If you’ve made it this far, thank you for taking the time to read this post! We hope we’ve been of some help! If you have any questions regarding anything pet related, or just fancy a chat; feel free to email us at firstname.lastname@example.org!