Wellness Wednesday

October 19, 2022

Last Wellness Wednesday, we celebrated National Pet Obesity Day with Doggos who were able to shed some extra pounds. The before and after photos are amazing (see them here). 

This week, we are going to pass along some tips on how you can help your dog lose weight.

According to the AKC, 56% of all dogs in the United States are overweight or obese. Sadly, overweight dogs die, on average, 2.5 years sooner than healthy, active dogs (WHAT!)

First question…is your dog overweight? Only 19% of people, when asked, said “Yes”.

But 56% are. Here is how to tell. Stand over your dog and look down. If they have an “hourglass” shape like the top dog, they are good. If they look like the bottom dog, they need to lose weight.

If you want to go deeper, we love the tool Purina had developed to check.
You can see that HERE.

Finally, here are 5 tried and true ways to help your doggo shed those extra pounds.

1. Count Calories

An average human should eat around 2,000 calories a day. An average 22-pound dog should eat around 400. There are lots of calorie calculators for dogs and cats and sites that have already done the math and give recommendations based on size and breed. Bottom line is, know your dog’s calorie needs and make sure he stays under that total.

3. Exercise Daily

On average, most dogs need 20 minutes of vigorous exercise twice a day to stay active and healthy. Yes, walks are great, but so is playing ball, running around the back yard, playing hide and seek and other less monotonous ways of getting them the exercise they need.

4. Keep Their Water Bowl Full

According to PetMD, dogs should drink about 1 ounce of water a day for every pound they weigh. In addition to maintaining cell health, flushing toxins and staying hydrated, sufficient water is a primary factor for weight lose in dogs. Keep the water bowl full!

keep dog's water bowl full

Image courtesy of Purina

4. Focus On Protein, Cut Back On Carbs

Low carb, high protein diets are ideal for weight loss for humans AND dogs. Consider switching to a low-carb, high-protein food, and always consult with your veterinarian when choosing the right dog food for weight loss.

5. Be Mindful Of High Calorie Treats

Treats are notoriously high in calories and carbs. Giving a dog human snacks as a treat usually means more calories per treat. Here’s a super hack….cut your dog’s treats in half. This makes them last longer and, their eyes, 1/2 a treat or a whole treat is all the same to them!

dog eating treat

Image courtesy of PreventiveVet

Remember, it will take some time. They didn’t gain the extra weight overnight and they will not lose it overnight either. Slow and steady wins the race.

There you have it, 5 super simple ways to help your doggo shed those extra pounds.

If you haven’t joined our Hero Club yet and are considering a weight loss journey for your doggo, now would be the perfect time as our Hero Club members receive a free Vester online vet consultation. This is a great opportunity to get an expert's feedback.

If you're not a Hero Club member but would like to be, click or tap here.

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