Do you have an overweight dog? Here are diet tips you must follow
If you dog has gained excess weight, you must add more physical activities to the routine and definitely tweak diet to add more protein and fibre content.
Is your dog overweight? While this may not seem to be a concern to you initially, over a period of time being obese could put them at risk of many health problems from diabetes, arthritis, heart disease, hypertension, urinary bladder stones and eventually shorten their lifespan. We all love our furry babies and seeing them sick can be heart breaking. If you dog has gained excess weight, you must add more physical activities to their routine and definitely tweak their diet to add more protein and fibre content. Sugary treats are a no-no and overeating must be discouraged. Adding seeds, oats, curd can also be beneficial for them. (Also read: Teachers' Day 2022: 9 things your pets can teach you)
"Overweight dogs may seem cute to some but excess weight can have detrimental effects on your pet’s well-being. An increase in weight can cause arthritis, cardiac disease, diabetes, problems with blood pressure, lethargy, digestive disturbances, pancreatitis, musculoskeletal problems, skin and coat issues, etc. As pet parents who love our four-legged best friends, it’s best to avoid weight gain and make attempts to counter it," says Dr Dilip Sonune, Veterinary Officer, Wiggles.
Here are some dietary tips you can follow to reduce your dog’s weight:
Tweak their diet
Vets suggest reducing the carb and fat content in an overweight dog’s diet and increasing the protein and fibre content. Pet parents can give lamb and rice to see good results, especially if dogs are allergic to chicken. They can feed carbs like sweet potatoes in a limited amount. Pet-safe fruits and vegetables like pumpkin, carrots, broccoli, cucumber, beetroots, boiled vegetables, beans, watermelon, apple, pear, etc can be added to a dog’s diet. Do not give them tomatoes or spinach during this time. Leafy greens containing histamine may cause itching, so be prepared.
Flaxseed, chia, and basil seeds do wonders for weight loss, digestion, and immunity. You can sprinkle it over on your dog’s food once or twice a week in small amounts to reap all the benefits. Using it regularly can harm your dog’s health. If you see any digestive problem or skin issues, stop it immediately. Dogs can have it raw or cooked but in small quantities only.
Oats and Dahi
Oats and curd are great combination to feed overweight dogs. It’s healthy and easy on the stomach. It helps build beneficial gut bacteria.
Diet is just one part of weight loss. Make sure you play with your dogs and focus on creating a better lifestyle as well. Long walks, treks, fetching balls or sticks, and swimming are good exercises for dogs and beneficial for weight loss and overall well-being.
"Dogs are more notorious than human babies when it comes to food. They will make a fuss, won’t eat, and make countless requests to give them what they like. They will get demanding, frustrated, and even angry. As pet parents, you have to make the right choice for them. Many parents think dogs need variety in food but it’s not true. If you give them complete and nutritious food that is balanced and palatable, they will eat it every single day. If your overweight dog gets fussy, make food interesting and flavourful. Every dog is unique and their food choices are too. If you’re confused about the next steps, don’t hesitate to get a personalised and tailored diet from a pet nutritionist or a vet," says Dr Sonune.