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 in 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 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 it's possible there's 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 must 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.
How Do I Know If My Dog’s Weight Is Right?
If your dog has the ideal weight, you will see that its waist narrows down behind the ribs. When you look from above and see that the waist and ribs of your dog fall in one line or even if the waist is bulging out, it indicates that your dog is overweight. The dog weight chart in this article will help you identify if it is the ideal weight for your dog.
Is It Bad If I Can Feel My Dog's Spine?
If your dog is in the ideal weight category, you will be able to feel its spine and ribs with a little fat. But if you can distinctly see its ribs and spine, and its waist also sharply dips behind the ribs, then it means that your dog is undernourished and needs to gain weight.
Can Walking My Dog Help Him Lose Weight?
Yes, walking is one of the most efficient and wholesome exercises that will prove beneficial in helping your dog lose weight.
Why Is My Dog Overweight But Doesn't Eat Much?
A sharp increase in the dog’s weight may cannot always be blamed on the amount of food it eats. On many occasions, it may be because of the change in your dog’s metabolism or hormonal disorders as well.
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- adp_description_block339Puppy Basics: Nutrition for Small and Toy Breeds
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Your small- or toy-breed puppy grows rapidly in the first months of their life: Their immune system is developing, their bones are growing and their muscles are getting stronger. With all this growth, they need the right mix of nutrients to support their development. To make sure your puppy is getting the proper nutrition to protect and maintain their health and well-being, keep these key points in mind.
What Food Should You Feed Your Small-breed Puppy?
Research shows that puppies need up to twice as much energy as adult dogs. Because they are growing so quickly at this stage, your small-but-mighty pup needs an energy-rich, nutrient-dense small-breed dog food like IAMS™ Puppy Small Breed. Puppies also need more protein than adult dogs. High-quality animal-based protein will help your puppy create new body tissue as they grow.
Aside from protein, make sure these other important nutrients and ingredients are a part of your puppy's diet:
- Vitamin-rich fish oils to support overall health
- Essential vitamins and minerals to help support the immune system and help your puppy stay healthy during this critical stage of growth
- Animal-based protein sources to help nourish growing muscles, vital organs and your puppy’s skin and coat
- A fiber source that will help keep your puppy’s sensitive digestive system healthy, so more nutrition stays in your puppy
- Ideal levels of calcium and phosphorus to help your puppy develop strong teeth and bones
These are important building blocks of nutrition. Look for them when you choose dry or canned dog food and when you select treats.
Why Do Small-breed Puppies Need Specialized Nutrition?
When it comes to feeding puppies, one size does not fit all. Small-breed puppies have higher metabolism rates per pound and reach their mature adult weight faster than larger-breed puppies. And small-breed puppies need high levels of protein, fat, calcium and phosphorus to support the growth and development of their bones, muscles and other tissues. So, giving your puppy a food that supports their breed size is the easiest way to make sure they’re getting the right balance of nutrients for their growth rate.
And remember: Small-breed puppies also have small mouths and stomachs! Make sure your puppy's food has small kibble for easy chewing. A nutrient-dense formula will help your puppy get a complete and balanced diet even though their stomach can only hold what seems like a small amount of food.
How Much and How Often Should You Feed Your Small-breed Puppy?
From the time your puppy is weaned until 4 months of age, you should feed your puppy two to three times a day. Check the food label guidelines to feed them the proper daily amount. After your puppy is 4 months old, feed them twice a day on a regular schedule. And make sure they always have access to fresh water, too!
When Should You Switch Your Puppy to Adult Food?
A small-breed puppy reaches adult weight faster than larger breeds. You can start feeding an adult dog food, such as IAMS™ Adult Small Breed, when they are around 9 to 12 months old.
Your dog might not be thrilled about the change at first, but don't worry. You can help ease the transition by gradually introducing the adult food. Try mixing 25% of the new food with 75% of their puppy food, and then gradually change the proportions over the next three weeks until they are eating 100% adult food.
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