Just like with us, if a dog eats too much and does not get enough exercise they are going
to gain weight. It is very important to take care of your dog if he develops a weight
problem. Just as with us, being overweight can cause a whole mess of problems with a
dog. The thing is they happen faster with a dog than they do in us. The excess weight
a dog has can cause extra pressure on their joints and muscles and they might develop
arthritis. The extra weight can also cause heart problems with dogs and dogs can even
get diabetes. Before you rush out to buy the newest diet dog food, stop and look at
your dog’s feeding habits.
Before you start, double check and see if your dog is overweight. You can check this
without going to your vet. The best way to check is to feel your dog’s ribs with both
hands. For an ideal weight dog, it is easy to feel the ribs. If you look at your dog from
the side, the belly is tucked up and if you look at your dog from the top, you will see your
dog with a little waist. If your dog is overweight, you are not doing to be able to feel his
ribs. When you look at your dog from the side, you will not see a tucked belly and when
looked at from the top, there is no waist. Growing up my family dog was a beagle and
was overweight and her belly hung down to the ground almost, she was that fat. You
could tell just by looking at her, we didn’t need to do the rib test at all.
While being overweight can be the symptom of other illness, chances are your dog is just
being overfed. It is still a good idea to take him to the vet just to make sure. It turns out
our beagle had a thyroid problem and needed medication. That was part of the problem,
the other part was that she ate too darn much.
Like we said, you do not need to rush out and buy the newest diet food for your dog.
There are some simple steps you can do first. For starters look at his feeding schedule.
If you are still feeding him twice a day, you should cut that down to once a day especially
if he is older than a year. The schedule of feedings for your dog should go as follows: A
puppy gets fed three times a day for 8 weeks until about 6 months. From 6 months
until a year, they should be fed twice a day. Once they hit a year, they only need to eat
once a day.
Also, keep an eye on how much you are feeding him. Keep in mind the guidelines that
are in the bag of the dog food. If it states to feed your dog a cup and a half a day, for
example, do not feed them 3 cups. Some people believe that if they are only being fed
once a day then they should double up on the serving size to compensate. This is not
true. When your dog is eating three times and even twice a day, they more than likely
still on puppy food. Once they are being fed once a day, they are on adult food which
theoretically will fill them up more than the puppy food did.
Next, make sure you exercise your dog. This is easier with some breeds than it is with
others! Take your dog for walks, if you have a fenced yard, make sure you are out
there with him tossing a ball around or at least playing with him. Anything to get them
moving. This not only helps with exercise for maintaining weight but it also helps some
dogs relieve a lot of their pent-up energy.
There is also a diet called the Green Bean Diet, that some have said have helped their
dogs to lose weight. This diet is fairly simple to follow. You simply cut back on your
dog’s food and replace it with canned green beans instead. Studies have shown that you
should take out about 10% of your dog’s food every 5 days or so and replace it with green
beans until they are receiving about half the food they would have been normally. For
example, if your dog eats 3 cups of dog food a day, you want to make sure they are
getting 1 ½ cups of food and 1 ½ cup of green beans. Keep your dog on this until they
lose the weight they need too. Always double check though with your vet before
starting any new diet for your dogs.
You should try and stay away from diet dog food. They are usually filled with fillers
which are how they keep the fat and protein levels lower than in regular dog food. Plus
these formulas might do more damage than good. You really are better off saving your
money and either cutting down his food or trying the green been diets. We tried some of
these diet formulas and nothing happened. The only time our beagle started losing
weight was when we started feeding her less.
Lastly, when you are trying to get your dogs weight under control, you should cut out all
treats including table scraps and rawhides. These are a no when you are trying to get
your dog to lose weight. Table scraps should be avoided no matter how much your dog