Just like with us, if a dog eats too much and does not get enough exercise they are going to gain weight. It is very important to take care of your dog if he develops a weight problem.
Just as with us, being overweight can cause a whole mess of problems with a dog. The thing is they happen faster with a dog than they do in us. The excess weight a dog has can cause extra pressure on their joints and muscles and they might develop arthritis.
The extra weight can also cause heart problems with dogs and dogs can even get diabetes. Before you rush out to buy the newest diet dog food, stop and look at your dogs feeding habits.
Before you start, double check and see if you dog is overweight. You can check this without going to your vet. The best way to check is to feel your dog’s ribs with both hands.
For an ideal weight dog, it is easy to feel the ribs. If you look at your dog from the side, the belly is tucked up and if you look at your dog from the top, you will see your dog with a little waist.
If you dog is overweight, you are not going to be able to feel his ribs. When you look at your dog from the side, you will not see a tucked belly and when looked at from the top, there is no waist.
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Growing up my family dog was a golden retriever and was overweight and her belly hung down to the ground almost, she was that fat. You could tell just by looking at her, we didn’t need to do the rib test at all.
While being overweight can be the symptom of other illness, chances are your dog is just being overfed. It is still a good idea to take him to the vet just to make sure. It turns out our golden retriever had a thyroid problem and needed medication.
That was part of the problem, the other part was that she ate too darn much. Like we said, you do not need to rush out and buy the newest diet food for your dog. There are some simple steps you can do first.
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For starters look at his feeding schedule. If you are still feeding him twice a day, you should cut that down to once a day especially if he is older than a year. The schedule of feedings for you dog should go as follows:
A puppy gets fed three times a day from 8 weeks until about 6 months. From 6 months until a year, they should be fed twice a day. Once they hit a year, they only need to eat once a day.
Also, keep an eye at how much you are feeding him. Keep in mind the guidelines that are on the bag of the dog food. If it states to feed your dog a cup and a half a day for example, do not feed them 3 cups.
Some people believe that if they are only being fed once a day then they should double up on the serving size to compensate. This is not true.
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When your dog is eating three times and even twice a day, they are more than likely still on puppy food. Once they are being fed once a day, they are on adult food which theoretically will fill them up more than the puppy food did.
Next, make sure you exercise your dog. This is easier with some breeds than it is with others! Take your dog for walks, if you have a fenced in yard, make sure you are out there with him tossing a ball around or at least playing with him.
Anything to get them moving. This not only helps with exercise for maintaining weight but it also helps some dogs relieve a lot of their pent up energy. There is also a diet called the Green Bean Diet, that some have said have helped their dogs to lose weight.
This diet is fairly simple to follow. You simply cut back on your dogs food and replace it with canned green beans instead. Studies have shown that you should take out about 10% of your dogs food every 5 days or so and replace it with green beans until they are receiving about half the food they would have been normally.
For example if your dog eats 3 cups of dog food a day, you want to make sure they are getting 1 ½ cups of food and 1 ½ cup of green beans. Keep your dog on this until they loose the weight they need too.
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Always double check though with your vet before starting any new diet for your dogs. You should try and stay away from diet dog food. They are usually filled with fillers which are how they keep the fat and protein levels lower than in regular dog food.
Plus these formulas might do more damage than good. You really are better off saving your money and either cutting down his food, or trying the green been diets. We tried some of these diet formulas and nothing happened.
The only time our golden retriever started losing weight was when we started feeding her less. Lastly when you are trying to get your dogs weight under control, you should cut out all treats including table scraps and raw hides.
These are not needed when you are trying to get your dog to lose weight. Table scraps should be avoided no matter how much your dog weighs.
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