Get Your Dog to Their Healthy, Happy Weight
Just like us humans, being overweight can be a serious problem for your dog's health. But worry not! We've put together some helpful tips and advice for you to help get your dog back in shape and stay healthy.
The Health Risks to Being Overweight
Just like in humans, dogs have an ideal, healthy weight. It’s important to be aware of their weight and size, as there are serious health risks linked to obesity:
- Heart disease
- Joint disease
- Feeling of lethargy
- Limited mobility
Top Tips to Get Fit
For dogs that aren’t used to regular exercise, roughly 15-30 minutes of moderate activity every day is a safe starting point, although this will depend on the size and breed of your pooch.
- Begin slowly and work up to longer walks or more vigorous exercise, or your pet may suffer. Take things gradually and build up their stamina and fitness over several weeks.
- Lack of exercise can become a vicious cycle. Overweight pets can become reluctant to go out or they may not enjoy their walks anymore.
- Remember to give your dog plenty of fresh water and to bring along collapsible bowls and water bottles when you’re exercising
Assessing Your Dog's Weight
The best way to of determing if your dog needs to go on a diet is to measure their body condition score (BCS). This is a score out of 5, with 5 being obese and 3 being the ideal weight.
It takes time to get used to assessing your dog's BCS, so get some help from your vet and use their scales to measure your dog's weight before you begin any diet.
How to Measure Your Pet
Look at your pet from the side and above every few weeks. Can you see a waist? Dogs should have a hourglass shape.
Run your hands over your dog's side. Does their skin move freely over the ribs?
Stand over your dog and feel their ribs. Run your hands along your dog's back and over the hip bones. You should be able to feel their bones quite easily under the skin.
Run your hands over the base of your dog's tail. Can you feel a build up of fat?
Feel under your dog's tummy. It should go in, not bulge out.
Get Into the Habit
It is good to get into the habit of checking your dog's shape from an early age. Avoiding obesity in adolescence will be a vital way of helping to prevent them putting on weight in adult life.
Achieve the Ideal Weight with Lily's Kitchen
Lily’s Kitchen meals for dogs are made with nutritious, natural ingredients to a wholesome and balanced recipe. We use freshly prepared meat and offal and absolutely no fatty fillers or hard to digest meat meal. It means Lily’s Kitchen is a great way to feed your pet healthily, and a fantastic option if they’re on a diet. These lower fat recipes are our top picks for dieting dogs.
Give your dog a fresh start with this proper, nutritious pack of some of our lower fat meals to help them get to their ideal weight. Comes in 4 different sizes. Check the description to see which size will suit your dog.
This lovely grain free lamb recipe is utterly delicious. Naturally low in fat so it’s ideally suited to hounds trying to lose the pounds.
A complete, grain free wet food made with freshly prepared cuts of beef and loads of organic vegetables and fruits.
8 Step Guide to a Healthy Pet Diet Plan
#1 Set Goals
Our pets come in all shapes and sizes and so the ideal weight of your four-legged friend is individual to them. We recommend that you work on a percentage of weight loss rather than a quantity of weight loss. The length of time to follow the diet plan will depend on the degree of your pet’s obesity, generally 2 months to one year.
#2 Be Realistic
This plan is all about having fun with your dog while helping them lose weight, so it’s important to take the diet slowly. The weight loss goal should be 1-2% per week of the total weight your pooch needs to lose.
#3 Create a Feeding Plan
Simply reducing or removing treats is the easiest first step of your dog’s diet - the best reward you can give is your time, so lots of extra cuddles will be a great alternative reward! You can also start the diet by slightly reducing the portion you serve at mealtimes.
See your vet to work out a daily calorie requirement for your pooch. For weight loss this will usually be between 60-90% of their daily requirement.
Check fat content of dry food - look for something under 12% fat. Feed pieces of apple for a delicious treat!
#4 Incorporate Regular Exercise
When we diet, getting more active goes hand in hand with eating less – this is the same whether we have two legs or four! Plenty of exercise is not only good for you and your pet but it’s fun and rewarding too.
Keep on top of how the diet is going. Having regular weigh-ins at the vets means you’ll be able to show them your progress while taking advantage of the veterinary weighing scales!
#6 Monitor & Track Progress
It’s important everyone in your household gets on board with your pet’s diet. It won’t work if you are cutting out treats, but you pet is managing to get them from someone else! Make a record of your progress.
#7 Fasting is a No-No!
Dogs won’t understand why you are withholding meals. It’s important your pet enjoys the process of getting back in shape and so starving them is not a fair or sensible way to lose weight.
#8 Maintain A Healthy Target Weight
Once your happy hound has reached their ideal body weight and condition you can give them a big hug - it’s a great achievement. Keep an eye on feeding and keep up with exercise routines!
Get in Touch
Our Customer Care team are the friendliest team of pet experts around. If you have any extra questions about putting your dog on a diet and maintaining an ideal weight just give us a call on 0207 433 1863 or email us at email@example.com