11 November 2019
National obesity awareness week 11/01/2021 – 17/01/2021
Today marks the start of national obesity awareness week so why not get started making healthy changes – get your coats on, grab the dogs lead and take a family walk around the neighbourhood, get the kids out on their bikes/scooters at the same time.
Exercise is the best way for humans and our canine friends to shed the excess pounds so why not work out together? Your dog is probably feeling as lethargic and unenergetic as you are to go outside on these bleak winter days but just a short walk a day can have huge health benefits for both you and your dog.
It is recommended that your dog has between 20 and 60 minutes exercise a day depending on the breed and size etc, contact your vet for more advise on how long your dog should be exercising for. If your dog is overweight, we would advise to start slow, shorter more frequent walks is a great way to get them back into the exercising routine.
Your dog’s weight will be affected by the following factors:
- Reproductive status
- Food intake
- Underlying diseases which reduce exercise
The main reason dogs are overweight is the simple fact that they are eating too many calories and not enough exercise. Feeding guides are just that – a guide, this may need adjusting to your dogs needs but it is an important place to start. We have put together a feeding guide on the back of all our bags of food and on our website for you to easily see what the recommended feeding allowance is for your dog.
If your dog is obese or is slightly overweight there are many ways you can get your dog back into shape, these include:
- Changing feeding habits – check feeding guides for correct daily food intake
If you have been over feeding your dog dividing their daily amount into several meals may be better for your dog as they will not feel hungry for too long. Remember not to feed your dog too late as they don’t burn as many calories when they are sleeping.
- Increase exercise – Why not start exercising with your dog? Start with short walks and gradually build up your dog’s strength and fitness until you can both jog/run. Maybe even take up a canine sport such as agility or flyball?
- Regular weigh ins – Although we recommend getting your dog weighed regularly by your vet you can also weigh your dog easily at home
- Weigh yourself and note down the number
- Pick up your dog (if possible)
- Step back onto the scales and record the combined weight of you and your dog
- Subtract your weight from the combined weight.
- You now know your dog’s weight, contact your vet to find out if this is a healthy weight for your dog.
- Checking the type of food is correct – If your dog is obese it may be a good idea to look at a weight control food to get your dog back to a healthy weight (remember to gradually introduce a new food mixing it with the old food).
- Reduce treats – reduce the amount of treats you give your dog on a daily basis and swap regular treats for a healthier option of carrot sticks, cucumber, fruits (although healthier, these will still add to the total daily feeding amount)
When your dog starts to lose weight, you will notice they start to feel happier, more excited for walks, has lots more energy to run around and more inclined to play. Why start tomorrow when you can start today?