People are generally always concerned with their weight – and it’s no wonder given our current society. While being supermodel thin may not be everyone’s ideal goal (and with reason!) it is important not to underestimate the dangers of obesity. There is a healthy weight for everyone, and maintaining that promotes a healthier life in every aspect. With obesity rates at an all-time high, it’s no wonder that an estimated 55.6% of dogs are overweight or obese as well. Unfortunately, the dangers of obesity are not limited to humans – our dogs suffer just as much. Not only can pets fail ill to Type 2 Diabetes, they will have excess strain on their bones and organs, increased risk for heart and respiratory disease, multiple cancers, and an overall decreased life expectancy. Just like humans, putting on the pounds is often far easier than taking them off. Below are some tips on how to maintain your pet’s weight loss!
- Knowing Ideal Weight – This is SO important for pet owners. It might be hard to believe, but the average pet owner really has no idea what the ideal weight for their dog is! In fact, when I’m often out with my working dogs, I get told they’re too skinny! Ideal weight in dogs is not a number, but a certain ratio. You want ribs to be easily felt, but not necessarily seen, and a defined waist. You can use the chart below to get a better idea of what your dog should look like:
- Exercise – You were probably hoping this wasn’t on the list. But it is! Not only is exercise essential for your dog’s mental health, it’s needed to maintain his physical health as well! But exercise needs to be more than just a short walk around the block, depending on your dog. A leisurely stroll is nice, but if you’re looking to lose weight and maintain that weight loss you need to get power walking (or running if you can!) to make sure those calories are getting used. This is beneficial for you and your dog! Try and set a pace of about 15 minutes per mile, and avoid stopping for all of the sniffing and marking that may typically slow down your walk. Remember that even 20 minutes a day at a decent speed can improve your health, so put those shoes on and take your dog out!