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5 Easy Ways To Help Your Pup Shed Some Pounds

Excess weight on a dog can pose many health risks including damage to joints, bones and ligaments, and create heart disease and diabetes–just to name a few. Luckily, there are some super simple ways to trim your dog’s waistline. Holistic Animal Nutritionist Marc Ching of The PetStaurant sheds some light on helping your dog shed some pounds.

#1 – Treats

A lot of people don’t realize that most dog treats are full of starch and sugar. Like human diets, carbohydrates can pack on the pounds. Switch to an all meat treat to see a big difference. Another alternative is offering green vegetables such as frozen green beans.  This low calorie treat is crunchy and cold and an economical option your dog will love.

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#2 – Switch To Home Cooking Or Dehydrated Foods

Kibble is hard for animals to break down – it stays in the GI tract longer and glucose is stored longer which causes weight gain. An option is home cooking. Ching advises that it doesn’t have to be daunting. Follow the 50/50 ratio when preparing food: 50% meat to 50% green vegetables. An easy recipe is 1 lb. of ground beef to 1 lb. of green vegetables such as kale, green beans, celery, spinach or dandelion greens. All are low glycemic and low sugar vegetables. Cut everything up and cook all ingredients together in a pot with no lid. This is a healthier way of cooking rather than boiling which causes the ingredients to lose their nutrients. If home cooking is not an ideal solution, choose dehydrated dog food. Look for low starch or a food that is potato free. It is easier to process.

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Image source: The PetStaurant

#3 – Check The Thryoid

If your dog is active and eating right, a simple blood test can reveal with your dog has a thyroid issue.  Some of the signs include lethargy and weight gain. A thyroid supplement can help get your pooch back on track.

Image source: @TonyAlter via Flickr
Image source: @TonyAlter via Flickr

#4 – Enzyme Therapy

Ching recommends Purify by Whole Leaf Organics as an additive to food to help dogs digest food and to make more enzymes naturally.  It helps accomplish weight loss goals and is budget friendly.

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#5 – Fitness

Ching is quick to point out that most weight issues in dogs is nutrition based, not fitness based, but it is important for your dog to be active. Hiking is the best exercise for your dog and, of course, running and walking. Another option is finding a facility that offers a play center for your dog. There are often fun obstacle courses that you can try to help exercise your dog while bonding together in a positive environment.  Small breeds may not be able to hike or walk as far of a distance, but it is important to make sure they also stay active. Ching suggests throwing a toy for quick sprints and getting your dog to use the stairs. And a short walk around the block is always an option.

Image source: @K.Kendall via Flickr
Image source: @K.Kendall via Flickr

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Written by Kristina Lotz
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