Are You Over-Feeding Your Dog?
Are you Over-Feeding Your Dog?
Most people do, unfortunately. To keep your dog healthy, maintain its proper weight.
Here you can find the proper weight range for any breed:
Looking at your dog from above there should be a slight indentation at the end of the rib cage.
When looking from the side, there should be what is called a “tuck up”, which is their bottom line and should angle up towards the hips, after their ribs. If it is a straight line across the bottom, they are over weight.
You should be able to easily feel ribs on the side, but they should not be readily visible.
A common mistake people make is following the weight guidelines on a bag of dog food.
If your big dog weighs 85 lbs but should weight 65-75, when you look at the food feeding guidelines don’t use the amount it says for an 85 lb dog, use the amount it says for a 65 lb dog. Feed based on what they SHOULD weigh, not what they do weigh. That said, most dog foods have far too much listed on their guidelines. They want you to use as much of their product as possible!
Keep in mind if your dog should get 2 cups of food per day and you feed
2 – 2 1/2 cups per day, plus treats, plus a few table scraps, well, you can see where this is going. Those treats and table scraps really add up, so if you are going to give those then cut back on the amount of food you feed.
Like people, dogs have different metabolisms. If they weigh too much, they need less food, a low-calorie, low-fat formula and more exercise. If they weigh too little, they need more food of a higher caloric content. Also, an active dog who receives a lot of exercise may be able eat more than a dog who lays around the house all day without adding weight.
If your dog is overweight and you put him on a diet, don’t expect to lose all the weight quickly. If you change to a different food, introduce it gradually but still only in the amount needed for what the target weight should be. Besides using a low-calorie, low-fat food, reduce the number of treats and table scraps your dog gets. Like us, it’s easy to forget just how many calories we are getting in a day from multiple treats and snacks.
You can give your dog less dog food and add in some no salt canned green beans for filler. Instead of dog treats, try some baby carrots for a treat.
More exercise will go a long weigh towards helping your dog lose weight. They should be walked daily for at least 30 minutes and the more play time they get the better. A dog that is exercised often will be a more well-behaved dog also. As the saying goes, “a tired dog is a good dog”.
You also want to be sure not to under-feed your dog. Like us, a healthy body weight makes for an overall healthier dog. If they are picky eaters, find a top shelf food that they like. Adding table scraps is fine. Just bear in mind that table scraps are what’s left on your plate. Cooked bones and cooked skin or fat should never be fed to any dog!
Over weight dogs will generally wind up suffering from a host of maladies, including breaking down of hips and joints, diabetes, lack of energy etc. Monitoring your dog’s weight will increase the number of happy, healthy years you will have with this special part of your family.