Maintaining Your Pets Weight

Your veterinarian/groomer/friend or family may have just informed you that your beloved furry companion has a bit of extra weight. You may be wondering if this is a cause for concern. After all, the added fluffiness makes your pet even more huggable!
However, it's important to address pet obesity, as it is a growing problem, with nearly 40% of dogs in NZ overweight or obese. Assisting your furry family member in maintaining a healthy weight not only enhances their quality of life but also significantly reduces the risk of serious health conditions associated with obesity.
To support you in keeping your pet on the right track, we have got some tips on maintaining weight and nutrition.

 

Factors that contribute to weight gain:

  • Overfeeding or over eating
  • No or low exercise
  • Breed e.g. beagles, pugs, Labradors and Cocker Spaniels can be predisposed from a young age.
  • Age
  • Desexing- neutered/sprayed dogs are more likely to gain weight than entire dogs
  • Pre existing diseases such as diabetes, cushings, hypothyroidism

 

How can I tell if my dog is overweight?

A rule of thumb you should be able to feel but not see the ribs. They should have a defined waist where the body narrows, just behind ribcage in front of the hindquarters.
Some behavioral traits can also indicate that they are overweight such as:
  • Appear tired and lazy
  • Pant constantly
  • Need help getting in car
  • Lag behind on walks
  • Bark without getting up
If you are unsure about your weight, then it is best to talk with your veterinarian.

 

Health Risks for overweight dogs:

Obesity typically diminishes your pet's quality of life and can shorten its lifespan. It becomes more challenging for your pet to engage in play and physical activities, and even routine medical procedures or examinations can become more complicated. Additionally, obesity can give rise to various other problems such as skin conditions, diabetes, heart disease, and arthritis. The excess fat can impact the functioning of specific organs, such as the liver, or contribute to the accumulation of fatty deposits in arteries. Furthermore, the additional weight places strain on your pet's joints, leading to the development of arthritis and degenerative joint disease.
 

How can I maintain my pets weight?

Weight gain occurs when your dog eats more calories than they burn off during normal activities or exercise. Feeding your dogs a complete and balanced diet, watching the amount of food they eat and exercise are the best ways to help your dog lose weight.

 

1. NUTRITION:

Excessive weight gain in pets is often caused by overfeeding, making a change in their diet an excellent starting point. It is crucial to select the appropriate food type that suits your dog's species, age, and size. Ensure that your dog doesn't have access to the cat's food bowl, as their nutritional needs differ. For instance, adult dogs should not be fed puppy food. Opt for a high-quality dog food and determine the appropriate portion size based on the feeding guidelines provided on the packaging.
Choosing higher quality food is beneficial as it uses nutrient-rich ingredients to make pets feel satisfied for a longer duration. At our store, we offer Hill's Science Diet Perfect Weight, a specially formulated dog food designed to facilitate weight loss. It contains a blend of natural ingredients such as high protein, high fiber, L-carnitine, and coconut oil, which support your pet's metabolism for maintaining a healthy weight. The benefits of this food include promoting lean muscle mass through its high protein content, working synergistically with your dog's biology to burn fat, providing a nutritionally complete and balanced diet, and offering a long-term solution for healthy weight maintenance and support.

     

 

2. EXERCISE

It's common knowledge that exercise plays a crucial role in maintaining your pet's weight. They say it takes about 21 days to establish a habit, so why not make a commitment with your dog to be each other's accountability partners? Aim to provide your dog with a minimum of 15 minutes of exercise every day. To keep things enjoyable for both of you, try incorporating variety into your exercise sessions.
Gisborne offers an abundance of stunning locations where you can take your dog for a walk. Explore places like Kaiti Hill, the picturesque beaches, the scenic walkway along the river, or if your dog has excellent recall, give them the freedom to roam at Nelson Park. If you're seeking a personal favorite, I highly recommend the track leading to the waterfall at Waihirere Domain. It's a delightful spot for a walk with your furry companion.
Engaging your dog in a game of fetch with a ball or frisbee is another fantastic way to get them moving and active. Dogs often enjoy the excitement of chasing and retrieving objects, making it a fun and interactive exercise for both of you.
We have a great selection of fetch toys instore such as the PitchDog Rings, Liker Balls, and Orbee-Tuff Bones. Our knowledgeable staff can assist you in choosing the perfect toy for your dog.

 

3. TREATS

While showing love and affection to our dogs through treats is common, it's important to be mindful of the quantity given, as excessive treats can contribute to weight gain. It's recommended that treats make up no more than 10% of their daily calorie intake. Avoid feeding them table scraps or human food and opt for specific dog treats instead. Our Old Mother Hubbard Training Bitz are not only wholesome but also delicious, providing a delightful way to reward your furry friend and say "good dog" during training sessions.

 

 

4. SLOW FEEDER BOWLS:

To prevent your dog from gobbling down their food too quickly during mealtimes, you may want to consider switching their food bowl to a slow feeder bowl. These bowls are designed to prolong the time it takes for dogs to finish their meals, promoting proper chewing and aiding in reducing issues like bloating, improving digestion, and minimizing gas. Additionally, slow feeder bowls can add a fun and mentally stimulating element to dinner-times, as they often require dogs to solve a little puzzle while eating. Check our our different slow feeders HERE:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


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