Your dog has never met a food he didn’t like. He’s always on the lookout for tasty table scraps. He has also been known to snatch several hors d’oeuvres off a cocktail tray when he gets the chance. Until now, you’ve just laughed at your dog’s gluttonous behavior. However, your family’s food hound has recently begun to show signs of pet obesity. At East Sacramento Veterinary Center, we want to help him get back on track.
How Pet Obesity Can Impact Your Dog
You wonder if those extra pounds could negatively impact your dog’s life. The answer is yes, the extra weight can increase his risk for many health conditions and diseases. Besides having less energy for playtime, this happy-go-lucky pooch might not be quite as upbeat in his daily activities. If he packs on too many pounds, it can even affect his general mobility.
Enlist Your Veterinarian’s Help
Fortunately, your East Sacramento Veterinary Center veterinarian can help you develop a pet weight management plan for your dog. For starters, your vet will determine your dog’s healthy weight based on his breed, body state, and activity level. Next, the vet will recommend a targeted nutrition plan that includes healthy food while reining in the snacks.
Measure Your Dog’s Food Servings
During your increasingly hectic days, you’ve probably been focused on quickly feeding your dog and moving on to the next task. Just a few extra minutes each day can go a long way toward your dog’s overall health and wellness, though. Try to focus a little more on servicing sizes to help your pet maintain a healthy weight.
After you feed your canine family member, don’t give in to those soulful, pleading eyes that say he’s still ravenously hungry. In fact, he may not be hungry at all. He may simply want more attention. You can certainly give this playful boy plenty of that!
Ramp Down the Table Scraps and Treats
When it comes to your dog, maybe you’ve subscribed to the “food equals love” philosophy. To let him know he’s important, you have given him a steady flow of snacks whether he asked for them or not. Naturally, he scarfed them right down.
It’s time to change your approach to your dog’s snacks. Dole out these extra morsels of food very sparingly like you would a piece of candy for a child. If you’re in the midst of a training program, substitute zero-calorie clickers for training treats.
Give Your Dog Some Exercise
Find ways for your dog to burn off some calories. Take him on regular walks and invite him to blow off some steam at the dog park. A good old-fashioned game of fetch will also help. The exercise needs of different breeds can vary considerably, so ask your veterinarian for guidance.
To jump-start your dog’s nutrition and exercise regimen, call (916) 737-5670 to schedule an appointment with your East Sacramento Veterinary Center veterinarian. Finally, understand that sticking to your dog’s pet weight management program will take some work. However, you’re up to the challenge. Your vet (and the entire team) are rooting for your dog’s success.