Dogs can be very persuasive with their big brown eyes — and don’t they know it, especially when it comes to begging for food! However, over-feeding your fluffy friend may lead to weight gain over time without you realising, which can go on to cause a whole host of health problems. Let’s take a look at how to spot if your pooch is within a healthy weight range and what you can do to help if it’s not.
What is a healthy weight for an adult dog?
Figuring out and maintaining your dog’s ideal weight is key to them living a long, happy and healthy life, but calculating an exact number to stick to on the scales is easier said than done. There are a number of tables available online that list off ideal weight ranges for dogs, but they can be incredibly broad and don’t take into account factors such as gender, age or activity level, which all play a key role in the ideal weight for your pooch - it’s even harder to calculate for mixed breeds!
Instead, measuring the body condition of your four-legged friend is an effective way to make sure they’re at a healthy weight for their age, size and breed. The chart below is a useful technique to monitor how your dog looks and feels, but it is only intended to be used as a guide. If your dog does not fall into the ‘ideal’ range, we suggest you consult your vet for further advice.
How to manage your dog’s weight
Managing your dog’s diet, especially their treat intake, and making sure they get enough daily exercise is the best way to avoid the complications that come with being over or underweight. Be sure to choose a diet you know is packed full of the nutrients your dog needs to stay healthy and strong.
Here at Harringtons, our range of dog foods provide a balanced, tasty meal that’s full of natural goodness and packed with plenty of minerals and vitamins. With options for puppies through to adult and even senior dogs, we’re with you every step of the way, providing delicious, nutritious food which makes for strong, healthy and happy dogs. Our recipes are tail-waggingly good, and our portion guides make it clear how much and how often you should feed your pooch!
Why not check out our Just 6 range? It contains a combination of six natural ingredients including fresh meat or fish, farm-grown vegetables and vitamin-rich oils, creating a highly nutritious and super-tasty dish.
Tips for dog weight loss
- Cut back on the amount of food they eat by 10% initially, and make sure any treats they have are included in their daily calorie intake limit.
- Don’t feed them any human food, keep them strictly on their diet of dog food that’s packed full of all the nutrients they need to maintain a healthy body.
- Increase the amount of exercise they do by going on more or longer walks. You could also try throwing the ball for them as part of your normal walking regime so they burn off more energy in the same amount of time.
- If your dog still appears hungry after being fed, you could try soaking the food in a little water before you give it to them. This swells the food and leaves your dog feeling more satisfied.
- If your dog is a fast eater, try to slow them down so they register they’re full sooner. You can do this by making them work to get their food:
- There are special bowls with a raised centre so that your dog has to eat around it, or you can raise your dog’s bowl a little way off the ground.
- Try making your dog hunt for their food by sprinkling it in different spots around the kitchen or garden, or try using a feeding toy such as a Kong.
The main thing is to feed your pooch the right amount of food for the energy they’re using. If you feed them less than this they will lose weight, if you feed them more they will gain weight. To ensure your dog stays healthy, food is not the only thing to keep an eye on, hydration is also key.
Make sure your pooch is drinking enough water for their size - typically about 28ml per kilogram of weight - depending on their activity level and how much water they get from their food intake. If they’re drinking more or less than they should, it can be a sign of an underlying health problem, so if you notice a change in their drinking habits be sure to mention it to your vet!
Looking for more tips and tricks for taking care of your dog?
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