Your dog’s diet is a huge determining factor on whether he packs on extra pounds. Many pet owners succumb to the “persuasion” of their dogs when it comes to food, unaware that giving in to their canine friend’s begging can cause obesity — leaving their canine at risk for many other diseases. Fortunately, these are expensive and heartbreaking diseases that you can prevent through proper weight management.
To keep your canine pal as healthy as possible, an online pet food delivery service shares some tips on what you should do.
1. Track how much you feed your furry pal
The best way to manage your dog’s weight is through portion control. Maintain a strict feeding schedule for your pet. First, ask your vet for recommendations on how often and how much you should feed your dog according to his age, breed and weight.
If you’re feeding your pet twice a day, it’s best to do it at eight to 12-hour intervals. You may divide the amount of food recommended by your vet into two portions to avoid overfeeding.
Adjust food seasonally
If your canine is more active during a particular season, change the amount of food you give him accordingly. For instance, if your dog is stuck inside the house during winter, he may not need as much food as it can cause unnecessary weight gain. Alternatively, if your canine jogs with you during the summer, he’ll be needing more food because he is more active.
2. Avoid giving table scraps
One of the worst things you can do as a pet owner is to feed your dog human food. After all, not all human foods are safe for pets. Some foods can even be deadly, and these include:
- Macadamia nuts
- Onions and onion powder
- Yeast dough
High quality dog food is nutritionally balanced for canines. Give food fit for dogs instead of table scraps to avoid causing nutritional deficiencies.
3. Give your pet adequate exercise
Like humans, exercise is important for dogs, too. Your furry friend doesn’t have to do an extreme dog sport. A simple walk in the park would suffice as long as your dog gets to move his body.
When choosing a type of exercise for your pet, just make sure to take into account his age, breed, and health status. If your pup is suffering from arthritis or sore joints, he may have limited exercise options.
4. Keep track of weight
Besides keeping track of the food you give, you should also track your canine’s weight. If you have a small pet, you can do this using a household scale. Whenever you check your dog’s weight, list it down on a notepad so that you have your own record.
To get a more accurate weight, you can also visit your vet regularly. There are some vet clinics who include weight monitoring in their services.
5. Prevent overeating
Dogs who tend to overeat suffer from depression, digestive difficulties, and increased weight. To prevent your pup from eating more than the recommended amount of food, place him inside a dog playpen every mealtime. This way, you can prevent your canine from overeating as he won’t be able to scavenge for more food.
6. Check pet food labels
Dubai dog food manufacturers (and elsewhere) are required to place nutritional information on their products. By checking these facts, you can get a better idea of which food brand gives your dog the best and most complete nutrients.
Typically, you should be looking for dog food labelled as “nutritionally balanced for maintenance of an adult canine.” It will have lesser calories compared to pet food designed for growing or lactating dogs.
7. Adhere to routine vet visits
Don’t make the mistake of only taking your dog to the vet when he’s feeling sick. For your dog’s health, regular vet visits are the best way to prevent many pet diseases since your vet is able to constantly check on your pup’s condition.
If your dog has a serious health condition that you aren’t aware of, your vet can spot the problem easily and correct it instantly. Your vet can also help you monitor your pet’s weight and give you helpful recommendations on how to maintain good health for your dog.
Keep your pet healthy and fit
It may feel quite overwhelming managing your pet’s health on your own. However, this is an act that every responsible pet owner must fulfill. To help your canine live the life he deserves — a happy, healthy and long active years spent with you — bear in mind the seven tips above.
Farah Al-Khojai is the Managing Partner of Pet’s Delight. A passionate entrepreneur, Farah holds a Bsc in Government from the London School of Economics. She is always on the lookout for new opportunities to develop and grow the pet and equestrian retail and wholesale market in the UAE and beyond, and is proud to be at the helm of the first and the largest pet care provider in the market representing world-class brands including Orijen, Applaws, Hunter, Savic, Flamingo, Ruffwear and Rogz.