When you own a dog it is your responsibility to look out for the care and health of your dog. An important part of your dog’s health is his exercise and diet. If these are not monitored very closely and he is not given a proper nutritionally balanced diet and exercise, your dog can become hyper and destructive (which can lead to giving up ownership because the dog is no longer manageable) or it can become lazy and obese which is very dangerous to any dog because weight issues compound much faster on a dog than it does for a human. Obesity in dogs can greatly reduce the dogs lifespan and shorten the time you have to spend with your best friend.
It is our job to control the amount and what he/she eats to be sure that it is a healthy amount of a good, well balanced diet. Some dogs know no limit to the amount to eat and will make themselves extremely sick and obese if we don’t do our part to keep them healthy. Every food is different varying greatly as far as the recommended amount to feed and not all food bag suggestions are accurate for every dog. Your vet would be the best person to consult for more assistance in diet recommendations. Giving your dog table scraps can not only create an ill behaved beggar but can contribute to obesity and other health problems.
A dog should be kept lean and trim, he should not be all ribs and bony, neither should he be roly poly. When a dog is much heavier than he should be, or obese, he should be given more exercise and less fat intake and fillers and more protein, fiber, vitamins and minerals. He should not be allowed to freely graze but rather given a set amount of time to eat what he needs and then the food should be removed until the next meal time. All table scraps should be discontinued as they lack any nutritional value and contribute to weight gain. Your dog should be sent away and kept away from your table when you are eating so that he is discouraged from begging.
You can help him get used to this change by feeding him first in another room. Not all dog foods are healthy. It is necessary to research the food before giving it to him to be sure that it contains a balance of the necessary proteins, grains, vitamins, vegetables fiber and minerals and a strict amount of food should be supplied for him at a set time. Some fats are necessary in a dogs diet, the objective is to pay close attention to which ones you are providing him or her with and the amount you giving him. Human foods and sugary foods can convert to fat in a dog’s digestive system leading to additional weight gain. A senior dog should be kept on a low calorie, high fiber diet. An older dog that refuses to eat or is disinterested in food, may be encouraged to eat by first moistening his food, then if that hasn’t worked, try an all natural gravy supplement or as I’ve found to be tried and true, (only if you are sure that your dog is not lactose intolerant) very small amounts of cheese, scrambled eggs (minus the butter) or peanut butter.
When a dog is too skinny, he may be given extra food that is nutritionally balanced and by supplementing with an all natural gravy diet supplement, you can help him reach his recommended target weight. Once he reaches this goal, you can return to regular recommended feedings. Maintaining a healthy weight for your dog is a series of constant slight adjustments through his lifetime. When he is too skinny or underweight, feed him a little more and when he is overweight, cut back. By paying close attention to this and making these adjustments you will keep your dog healthy and have your best friend around a whole lot longer.
Walking or jogging with your dog or playing with him and throwing balls or Frisbees to make him run and chase them are great ways to help your dog burn calories and aid in weight loss. Letting your dog play with other well behaved, vaccinated canine playmates is another great activity that will help him as well.