IS YOUR DOG CARRYING EXTRA WEIGHT?
Between 25 and 40% of dogs are overweight, but often, owners don't know it until they take their dog to the veterinarian for another reason. Yet, even veterinarians can't tell if a dog is fat just by its weight. Ideal weight varies by breed, and quite widely within breeds. There's no ideal weight chart for all dogs!
You can judge your dog's condition by placing your hands on each side of his rib cage. Are the ribs protruding? Your dog may be too thin. Can you feel individual ribs easily, and is your dog's abdomen slightly tucked up when viewed from the side? That's the sign of ideal weight. If you can't feel the ribs easily, your dog has no waist, and his abdomen drags, he's too fat. Your veterinarian can help you further evaluate your dog's weight.
YOUR DOG’S WEIGHT LOSS PROGRAM
Before beginning any weight loss program with your dog, discuss it with your veterinarian.
You can begin your dog's weight-loss program by reducing caloric intake by 25% of his maintenance intake, and then decrease it by 10% increments every two to three weeks until a 1% weight loss per week is achieved. This means that, if your dog weighs 15 pounds, a 1% loss would be about 2-1/2 ounces.
If you feed one large meal a day or keep food available at all times, try dividing the daily ration into several small meals (at least two meals a day) and pick up what has not been eaten 30 minutes after each meal.
WHAT CAUSES CANINE OBESITY?
Dogs gain weight for the same reason that people do—they eat more calories than they use. Today's dogs share another problem with their parents: lack of activity. Most parents are gone all day and come home too tired to play with the dog.
Also, as dogs age, or after they are spayed or neutered, their metabolism might slow causing them to require less food.
Another reason for weight gain is frequent, high-calorie treats. Sometimes, more than one family member is feeding the dog, and the dog sure isn't telling!
SUPPORTING YOUR DOG'S WEIGHT LOSS
Losing weight isn't easy. Changing habits is the key. Here are some ways you can help:
Determine who feeds the dog what and when. (Don't be embarrassed to admit you give your dog treats. Dogs are expert beggars.)
Substitute affection for treats. Give a pat or throw a ball when he noses your hand.
Take your dog for a walk more often. Even 10 minutes a day can help.
Feed him more often. It takes energy to digest food. Dividing your dog's daily ration into two or three feedings will help.
Reducing your dog's regular food amount by 25% should bring results.
If your dog is more than 15% overweight, your veterinarian might recommend a special food. Diet foods should be low in fat (under 20% of calories from fat).
Your goal is to help your dog be healthier, so select his food carefully. Some diet foods just add fiber to help the dog feel full. This can result in reduced digestibility, large stool volume, frequent trips to the backyard, and decreased skin and coat condition because the dog isn't getting enough fat and nutrients.
Find a food, such as IAMS™ ProActive Health™ Adult Healthy Weight, that has normal fiber levels to keep your dog's digestive system working properly. It should have high-quality protein so your dog doesn't lose muscle tone and essential fatty acids to help keep his skin flexible and coat glossy throughout the dieting process. After your dog reaches ideal weight, select a maintenance food to keep weight steady.'
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Bathing your puppy is an important part of good pet care. Whether you're a newbie or a seasoned pet parent, it's crucial to provide your pup with ample and frequent baths to keep them looking and feeling healthy. More than just for appearances, though, regular baths are essential for maintaining proper hygiene and skin health – like how we need showers! To help ensure your pup looks and feels its best, here are our top tips for bathing your furry friend.
When you get a new puppy, one of the first questions that may come to mind is, 'How often to bathe a puppy?' You shouldn't bathe your puppy until they are around eight weeks old. Even then, the process should be approached with care and gentleness. After their initial bath, you typically only need to do so again when necessary.
Before you start, ensure you have everything you need for your puppy's first bath. This includes a place to bathe your puppy, towels, shampoo and conditioner for long-furred dogs, a brush or comb and a hair dryer with a relaxed setting.
To ensure your puppy is comfortable during the bath:
- Start by getting them used to the water.
- Fill the tub with lukewarm water, however, ensure that you do not fill it completely. Let the water level be only a few inches above its paws.
- Place your puppy into the tub and allow it to get comfortable. Give your new pal some treats and talk to it in a calm and reassuring voice.
Once your puppy is comfortable with the water, it's time to wash them.
How and when to bathe a puppy: Step-by-step guide
If it's your first time bathing a puppy, don't fret - we've got you covered with this guide on how to bathe a puppy.
Assessing your puppy's coat type
Determine the right shampoo and conditioner for your pup before even getting them wet. All of this comes down to what type of fur they have. Get professional advice from your vet first to know which products would be best for your puppy.
Pups with short coats need more oil to add moisture, whereas long-coated dogs require moisturisers to maintain coat health.
Make it a pleasant experience
We recommend bathing puppies as young as eight weeks old so that it becomes a part of their routine. But don't overwhelm them; a puppy's first visit shouldn't include baths. Instead, let this serve as an introduction and show them that there is nothing to be scared of.
Allow the puppy to roam free and get them used to being in a tub by slowly running a brush over their fur. Be sure to give lots of treats, swaddling, and cuddles to make them feel safe.
Brush your puppy's coat gently
To get started with the bathing and grooming process, lightly brush or comb their coat to remove any dirt. Also, doing this will help eliminate any knots or tangles in their fur before bathing them.
Get the water to a lukewarm temperature
Get the water to a comfortable temperature; it should be warm but not hot. Puppies have more sensitive skin than we do, so they will feel the heat much faster.
Before you start, lay out everything you will need and ensure no one in the house uses any water while you're bathing the puppy. Sudden temperature changes can be dangerous for puppies; hence, taking precautions is essential.
Cleanse gently with lukewarm water and a rag (For puppies aged 3-4 months old)
To avoid skin irritation, forego cleansing products when they are young and use lukewarm water instead. The temperature must be comfortable for your pup, as hot water can harm dogs.
A warm wash rag is all you need to use on a puppy that is three or four-months old. Dogs' body temperatures are higher than ours, so they experience temperature differently than we do.
Give your puppy a bath
For puppies older than three or four months, you can bathe them in a bathtub or shower. Handling your puppy can be delicate, especially when it's time for their bath. If you have a particular bathtub or shower specifically for puppies, use that--it'll make things much more manageable. Be sure to place them on a non-slip surface inside the tub or shower, so they don't become overwhelmed and frightened.
Choose the right shampoo and conditioner
It's time to introduce shampoo and conditioner to your puppy once they are at least three months old.
Only purchase shampoos and conditioners for dogs that are pH balanced to avoid health hazards. We recommend plant-based products with no chemical additives to maintain a healthy coat and skin. Also, please don't go for the cheapest product, as it might not be practical or safe.
Before using the puppy shampoo, dilute it with equal water. Apply it all over their body, being mindful to avoid contact with sensitive areas like eyes and ears.
Remember that bathing a puppy is like washing a tiny human baby. They won't be used to the feels and may not take it well at first.
If you want to avoid scratches, use the balls of your fingers and massage the shampoo into the coat -- this will help remove dirt and dust. Plus, your puppy will love it!
Rinse the fur thoroughly
Rinse your puppy's fur thoroughly to remove all traces of shampoo after bathing. You should repeat the process a few times for best results.
Keep your dog's skin clean by getting between the folds with baby wipes or a damp cloth to remove all soap. Once you are done, be sure to dry their skin thoroughly.
Dry off your puppy
Gently rub your puppy with a towel to remove the excess water, then place them on the floor in a safe area.
Until they are no longer dripping, you can keep them towel dry. Have someone help you hold onto them or sit down on your knee to ensure they feel secure.
Next, you will want to use a hairdryer on your pup's coat. It's best to use a diffuser to spread the heat evenly, and ensure it's only set on low or cool.
When you use a hairdryer on your puppies, go slow to get them used to the sensation and noise. Avoid blowing air directly into their face or ears. Try to get them as dry as possible, and for long-coated breeds, frequently stop to brush or comb through their coat, so it doesn't get tangled.
Maintain a good bathing routine for healthy skin
Your dog's health is crucial, so you should bathe them once a month. Over time, their skin and fur become oily and dirty from environmental factors and everyday activities. Including baths in your pet care routine will keep them happy and healthy.
For a puppy, it's best to stick with lukewarm water, mild soap, and gentle massages. Remember to follow up with regular brushing, which can help keep their coat soft and shiny. Minimal shampooing is recommended, as bathing too often will lead to dry skin.
These steps should have you on your way to a happy and healthy puppy. With regular baths, you can help ensure your pup is always looking and feeling its best. It may take time for them to get used to it but bathing your puppy can be an enjoyable experience if done correctly. Have fun with it!
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