10 Important Tips for Managing Your Dog’s Weight

There is a canine obesity epidemic in the world right now. Yes, an epidemic. That is the word we are using because it is widespread, it is affecting all dogs, no matter the breed, and it goes ignored or unnoticed by many. While some people laugh or think obese dogs are cute, do you realize the fine print that goes along with dog obesity? From the staggering statistics behind dog diabetes, to the fact that dogs can die or heart disease, managing your dog’s weight is no laughing matter, and it all comes back on us. Here are ten things you can do to ensure your dog stays as fit and as healthy as possible. Which means, longer life with you.

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Stop With the Non-Dog Snacks

We have all been there: you are sitting at a table at a friend’s house, and their adorable dog knows you think it is adorable and is giving you puppy dog eyes under the table for some dinner. The crazy part is, we all cave. But we can’t do that. That is a huge thing when it comes to managing your dog’s weight (or the weight of your friend’s dogs, and so on). Human food is not made for dogs, nor is it good for dogs. The biggest problem when it comes to obesity in dogs is oversnacking, and snacking on food they shouldn’t. Be strong, it is best for the dog.

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Regular Exercise

We know this one falls under the duh category, but some people obviously have problems understanding it. If they didn’t, this would not be the problem it is. If you do not see yourself having many opportunities to give your breed the proper exercise it needs, maybe you shouldn’t have a dog.  It’s also very easy.  Take your dog on a run with you.  Take your dog on a scenic walk.  Simply get your dog outside and moving.  It benefits both parties in the end.

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Don’t Encourage It

Photos, like the one above, have circulated the internet like wildfire. People think dogs that are overweight are extra cute or look like Disney characters. The thing is, if you look above again, the poor guy’s tongue is hanging out. He is unhealthy and exhausted from carrying extra weight around. We need to stop laughing and encouraging this among dog owners because it is not okay. What you don’t see in the Disney movies is the animals dying. Oh wait, yes you do. Bad example, but you get our point.

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Don’t Ignore the Issue

Again, managing your dog’s weight comes back on you as the owner (or parent, as some of us say). Do you think that maybe a dog’s weight gets ignored and becomes more and more of an issue because some owners don’t want to accept what they are letting happen (just like some parents)? If your dog is getting bigger, you need to change its diet and give it the extra exercise and attention it may need to help shed that or not make it a “bigger” issue.

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Ah, you didn’t think this one would be on the test, did you? Well, as is most cases with dogs, it is. Socialization with dogs (among other dogs and people) can be key to that dog getting the exercise (and getting to enjoy the exercise) that will help it maintain a healthy weight. In other words, keeping the dog always inside and extra well fed is not doing it any favors. Dogs need lives just like we do to keep us sane.

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Switch to Organic Food and Treats

Okay, I know the first complaint. Organic food costs more. Yes, for human and animals, it often does. But shall we look at the bigger picture. A big part of both humans and animals being obese right now has to do with the fact that a lot of food has been genetically modified and is wildly unhealthy for consumption by anything. Yes, Monsato affects dog food, too. So maybe it worth the few extra bucks to not slowly poison your favorite animal.

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Get Out More

See, not just your dog. Sometimes, our dogs are just animal reflections of ourselves. On really hot days or if we have worked really long weeks, sometimes we just don’t want to walk our dogs or do even go out ourselves. Too bad. Make the effort with yourself can make all the difference with your dog. Go on some adventures, it will do both your souls (and bodies) some good.

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Understand Your Dog Breed’s Target Weight

Another one most people don’t think about is the simple fact that each breed is obviously not supposed to weigh the same. If you want to keep your dog healthy, it helps to know what your dog breed’s target and ideal weight is. In other words, judging a Bulldog against a Chihuahua will not get you helpful results when it comes to an judging a dog’s weight.

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Introduce Dog To New Things

Maybe the above photo will make you laugh at first, but look at the first photo at the top of this article again. Dog yoga is a thing now, and though some may scoff, how can you scoff at someone who encourages their dogs to be healthy. No matter how they do it, at least they are doing. So maybe instead of laughing at new things or judging them, maybe they can do your dog some good. Yoga, swimming, or maybe just a jog along next to you some day when you mountain bike. It can make all the difference.

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Talk To Your Vet

Above and beyond anything you have read on this list about managing your dog’s weight, if you think your dog is getting obese, get to the vet. Your vet will know the best approaches about your dog (and know its history too, which is helpful). Remember, this is not a cute issue or something worth admiring or bragging about through Instagram photos. This is your dog’s health we are talking about, and we take it very seriously. If you read this far, so do you. Kudos. You are good people.

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