Keeping Your Dog's Weight In Check
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Just like obesity gives rise to several health-related issues in humans, it does so in dogs as well. The primary causes of obesity in dogs are lack of physical activities, imbalanced diet and overfeeding. If you notice a sudden increase in your dog’s weight despite having a normal diet and sufficient exercise, then it could also be a side-effect of hormonal disorders. Obese dogs are at risk of developing diabetes, heart diseases, bone deterioration, arthritis and other severe disorders. So, it is extremely important to monitor your dog’s weight.
Understanding Your Dog’s Weight Category
Look at this dog weight chart to know which category your furry friend falls in:
Underweight: You can clearly see an underweight dog’s ribs, spine and hip bone. There is zero body fat that can be seen on the body either. In dogs who are genetically thin, the loss of muscle mass may be evident.
Ideal: You can easily feel the ribs, spine and hips of a dog that falls in an ideal weight category. Its waist should also be visible from above and the side. The last couple of ribs may be visible on a short-coated dog while playing or exercising, which is absolutely normal.
Overweight: A dog is considered overweight when it weighs 10-20 per cent more than its ideal body weight. It is difficult to feel the ribs of these dogs. The fat accumulation is also visible at the base of its tail and on the belly. Its back also starts to appear broader. It is advisable to start working on shedding the extra kilos your dog has gained at this stage.
Obese: A dog is considered overweight when it weighs 20 per cent more than its ideal weight. You cannot feel its ribs at all due to the heavy fat accumulation. Fat deposits are also visible around the dog’s neck and its belly also starts to droop.
How to Measure Dog’s Weight
You can measure your dog’s weight at home if your dog is a small breed. Here are the steps to follow while measuring the weight of your dog at home:
Step 1 – First, stand on the weighing scale and take note of your weight.
Step 2 – Next, carry your dog securely and stand on the weighing scale. Take note of the combined weight that the scale indicates.
Step 3 – Subtract your weight from the combined weight and you will get to know how much your dog weighs.
These steps should not be followed by those who have medium or large breed dogs. The size of your dog could make it difficult to hold it properly, and if it starts fidgeting, the handler or the dog could get injured. Owners of medium and large breed dogs should go to the vet to weigh their pet.
Ways To Keep Your Dog’s weight In Check
You can easily manage your dog’s obesity and maintain the ideal weight of your dog if you follow a regime and take the necessary steps. Here’s are some things you should keep in mind during your dog’s weight management:
AVOID FEEDING HOME-COOKED FOODS
Dogs remain healthy if their food quantity is controlled and they are fed on time. But you should avoid feeding your dog home-cooked food because their dietary requirements are different from yours. Home-cooked food might contribute as one of the major reasons why your dog has begun to gain weight.
CHOOSE A GOOD AND APPROPRIATE OPTION
There are lots of dog food available in the market and all have different nutritional contents that contribute towards maintaining the healthy weight of dogs. But when it comes to reducing your dog’s obesity, IAMS™ ProActive Health™ Adult Weight Control and IAMS Healthy Naturals™ Weight Management with Chicken formulas are good options to go for.
REFRAIN FROM SHARING FOOD YOUR DOG
Your dog is your friend so, it's hard not to share your delicious bacon or a mouthful of steak with it. When you are eating, and your dog sits next to you, giving those adorable puppy-dog looks, it is even more difficult to not share some of your food with it. But you must resist. Giving “human food” greatly increases your dog’s fat content. It also conditions the dog to believe that it will be fed every time you will eat.
Exercise is a great way to keep your dog in shape. If you have a busy schedule, then you could break it down into short sessions to play fun games like tug-of-war or go for a quick jog with your dog. You could also play with a frisbee or start working on its agility. Dogs that get enough exercise are less likely to be stressed and this way, you would also get a break from your work.
Of course, you want to reward a dog when it’s been a good boy or a good girl. But keep in mind that those snacks can add calories and fat. And more importantly, think about how many types of treats and snacks you are feeding your dog and how often.
CHECK FOR BIGGER PROBLEMS
Most of the time, dogs are overweight because they are taking in more calories than their bodies burn. But there may be a bigger problem. If you've tried to control your dog's diet and increase exercise and haven't seen any results yet see your veterinarian about thyroid disease or other metabolic or hormonal disorders.
Don't feel discouraged if you miss every time or don't see results right away. The fight against obesity is fought one day at a time. It is the inculcation of good habits and discipline. By following the tips above and increasing your willpower and patience your dog’s weight management will be an easier and healthy process.
IAMS Dog Food Benefits
Your dog’s weight loss should be a gradual, step-by-step process. To maintain your dog’s weight, you have to incorporate a low-fat diet and increase your dog’s activities. We recommend the weight loss dog food from IAMS that may help lose the weight of your dog.
Here are some of the benefits of the dog weight-loss food from IAMS:
- The primary ingredient in this food is chicken and it provides 17% less fat that helps manage your dog’s weight.
- It is formulated with L-carnitine that facilitates the oxidation of fat and gradually helps your dog return to a healthy weight.
- The L-carnitine in the food also helps burn fat and maintain a healthy metabolism.
- The IAMS dog food is tailor-made and is a mixture of fiber blend, prebiotics and beet pulp which boosts healthy digestion.
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- adp_description_block223Understanding Puppy Food Nutrition Labels
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How much do you know about the food you’re buying for your puppy? When shopping for puppy food, pay attention to these three sections of a dog food label.
1. The Ingredient Panel
This section lists all the ingredients that make up the product. The ingredients are listed in descending order according to weight before cooking. In dry food, look for a source of high-quality animal-based protein: chicken or lamb, for example. Dogs thrive on animal proteins.
Manufacturers who use large amounts of vegetable proteins might be saving money by providing basic — but not optimal — nutrition. You should also avoid artificial colors and flavors, which offer no nutritional benefits.
2. The Guaranteed Analysis
Near the ingredient panel should be a chart of percentages called the "guaranteed analysis." These figures reveal the basic nutrient makeup of the dog food's formula and protein content. The minimum percentages of protein and fat and the maximum percentages of fiber and moisture (water) should be listed.
3. The Manufacturer’s Name and Address
This information must be included on the label by law. A toll-free number or web address for the manufacturer may also be listed. Manufacturers who list a phone number, such as IAMS™, generally have a high-quality product and welcome consumer calls and questions. If you would like information about IAMS products, visit our website or call us toll-free at 800-525-4267.
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