If you are an avid TikTok consumer, you may have come across a TikToker called Cub the baby lion. To bring you up to speed, the TikToker posted a clip of his pit bull’s growth. When the pit bull was 16 weeks old in 2018, it weighed only 55 pounds. Four years later, the pit bull began to weigh 160 pounds. According to Pet Health Network, the average weight of a pit bull is around 55-60 pounds. Based on the pit bull’s weight, it is safe to conclude it is overweight. This article does not intend to poke fun at the pit bull’s weight. Instead, it is intended to help pit bull owners care for their dogs because obesity impedes their health. For instance, obesity causes cancer and hypertension in dogs. So, in this article, we will explore how pit bulls become overweight and what you can do to help an overweight pit bull.
Too Much Food
This entry seems obvious, yet somehow owners still overfeed their dogs. According to Better Cities for Pets, the common cause of obesity in dogs is owners feeding them whenever they think they are hungry. Without a proper schedule, you will unknowingly overfeed them. For instance, you should feed your dog when you eat your three meals.
Lack of Exercise
If you are accustomed to a sedentary lifestyle, getting a pit bull may not be a good idea. That is because dogs have to be walked regularly. According to Shallowford Vet, you should walk your dog 3 to 4 times a day for about 15 minutes. As the dog gets used to the short walks, you have to increase the duration of your walks for your dog to benefit mentally and physically. Walking is, therefore, a good way for your dog to maintain a healthy weight.
Feeding Your Dog Foods High in Carbohydrates
Since dogs are carnivores, they do not need carbohydrates. They already derive enough energy from protein and fat. However, dog food is full of carbohydrates, and it is not uncommon for dogs to consume carbohydrates. Despite their bodies not needing it, carbohydrates are not bad for dogs in reasonable amounts. Experts claim that dogs should consume around 14% of carbohydrates. So, if you pick up dog food, ensure you go for that percentage.
Just like humans, dogs become less active as they age. Due to their advanced age, they begin to adopt a sedentary lifestyle by playing less and sleeping more. Most owners assume that aging dogs do not need to stay active, but you would be wrong. Some diseases come with aging, so it would be worse if you added obesity to the list. Although your dog may not be able to run as fast as it used to, you can give it toys that can stimulate them mentally and even physically when they play with the toy.
Limit the Treats
Every dog owner is guilty of feeding their dog treats even when it is not necessary. Typically, dog owners feed their pets as a reward, not because they are in a good mood. In the same way, you would not feed your children candy each time you felt like it. So, please limit the number of times you give them treats. Meanwhile, ensure the treats are low in calories and fat.
Measure the Amount You Feed Your Dog
Most dog owners do not know the exact food quantity they should feed their dogs. If you happen to be in camp, you are not alone. If you do not know how much to feed your dog, you can enlist the help of a veterinary doctor. Not only will the veterinary doctor spell out the food measurement, but they will also design a weight-management plan for your dog. It is up to the owner to adhere to the plan. Besides adhering to the plan, you also need to have the proper equipment for scooping out food for your dog.
Keep Your Dog Active
Some people lead a sedentary lifestyle due to laziness or the nature of their job. If this happens to be you, you could still make your dog exercise without necessarily going out for walks. A common indoor game that owners play with their dogs is throwing a ball and asking the dog to fetch it. While the dog runs around the house, it burns some calories. As a result, the dog will maintain a steady weight. However, that does not mean that you should not make an effort to take your dog out for a walk due to your lifestyle.
Differentiate Between Begging and Hunger
It is easy to misread your dog’s sign since they cannot speak. For instance, your dog may beg you, and most owners always assume it is food they need. However, your dog could be begging you to play with it. By feeding your dog every time it begs you, you will be conditioning it to associate begging with food. Rather than assume that the dog is hungry, track the last time you fed your dog. It is nighttime, and you last fed it in the morning; it is likely hungry. However, if you last fed your dog an hour ago, it is possible that your dog desires your attention. If your dog tends to beg for food, you can feed it a high-protein diet. Such a diet will keep the dog full for long, hence reducing their appetite for constant food.
Some people find overweight pit bulls cute. Although you may find them cute that way, their obesity can negatively impact their health. Remember, it is expensive to treat a dog who exhibits symptoms of obesity. Thankfully, you can prevent your dog from being overweight. However, if your dog is already overweight, you need not lose hope. You only need to make it exercise and feed it the appropriate diet. Taking care of your dog is a full-time responsibility. For instance, you have to keep walking it and feeding it correctly. So, if you want a healthy dog, consider following this guide so that you do not take your dog to the veterinary hospital.