You might have a hard time denying your dogs anything they want—but when they want treats, those extra calories can add up fast. Keeping an eye on your dog’s weight is part of your regular dog safety and summer care duties. Most dogs love to eat, which is why it’s important to watch their weight for them. Excess weight can have a severe impact on their health if left unchecked.
What happens when your dog is overweight
As with humans, weight gain can have negative health implications for dogs, too. They may experience heart disease, joint and bone damage, decreased stamina, difficulty breathing, hypertension and a lower quality of life. Overweight dogs might also lose liver function and have a shortened lifespan. If you love your dog, you owe it to them to watch their weight (and say “no” to treats when necessary).
How to tell if your dog is overweight
The best way to tell if your dog is overweight is to feel around their ribs and spine. At a healthy weight, the bones should be easily located, with just a thin layer of flesh (and fur) over them. If your dog’s ribs and spine are covered by a thick layer of fat, they’re likely overweight. Of course, it’s best to see your vet regularly—they’ll help you keep an eye on your dog’s weight as well as let you know the best ways to help your dog lose extra pounds.
Summer weight loss tips for dogs
If your dog is packing a few extra pounds, here’s the good news: it’s summertime, so you’re probably already spending a lot more time outdoors. Just like with humans, the key to canine weight loss is burning more calories than they take in. Once you’ve identified the ideal calorie intake for your dog (ask your vet if you’re not sure), monitor their eating carefully. Cut down on treats or use single pieces of kibble instead of large, high-calorie treats.
Next, figure out what your dog’s ideal weight should be. This will vary depending on breed and age. Your vet will be able to give you an ideal range, as well as specialized weight loss tips for the breed and their personal limitations.
Finally, develop an exercise plan for your pet that works with your overall summer dog care regimen. Find out what their ideal activity level should be, then take them out for plenty of active time. Jogging, running, games of Frisbee and even swimming are all great activities you can do together. Even regular dog training tasks can help ensure they’re staying active and healthy throughout the day. Remember, dogs with plenty of mental and physical stimulation are far less likely to take out their boredom by chewing on your furniture, shoes and other valuables. Keeping an eye on their weight is a win-win situation for everyone involved.
When you’re ready to adopt a Presa Canario, D&G Kennels can help—including by providing information about their ideal calorie intake and activity level. Call today to get started.