Smart Choices for Overweight Dogs
Drs. Foster & Smith Educational Staff

Smart Choices for Overweight Dogs Battle of the Bulge
NOW IS THE PERFECT TIME to increase outdoor activities that help encourage weight loss in your dog. However, exercise alone may not result in healthy weight loss. A proper weight management program begins at home with proper nutrition.

Reduce excess calories
Snacks, treats, and any other "off-schedule" food items are probably the most common source of excess calories. Resist the endearing charm of your begging dog and provide a non-food alternative. Instead of a treat, offer a new toy or lavish attention through grooming or interactive games. If there's no getting around edible treats, consider carrots, cooked green beans, or low-calorie treats in small portions. Treats should not comprise more than 10% of your dog's daily intake. Our Chicken Fillets are a low-calorie, low-fat snack.

Adjust the quantity
Remember that the feeding guidelines on the back of a dog food bag are just that - guidelines. Because of individual differences, you may have to feed less than the recommended amount to keep your dog at his optimum weight. Our Adult Lite Food is a natural dog food with reduced calories plus L-Carnitine to help the body build muscle and burn fat. Another option is to offer food at set "meals" rather than having a food bowl available at all times. For better portion-control, consider an automatic feeder that dispenses small portions throughout the day. The LeBistro Electronic Feeder is a programmable pet feeder that automatically dispenses dry pet food up to 3 times a day.

Exercise and energize
Increase calorie use through regular exercise. Daily exercise is important to help strengthen muscles and maintain an active metabolism. But before you leave the house, be sure to warm up properly to avoid potential injury. Through proper nutrition and proper exercise, shoot for a goal of losing no more than 2% of your dog's body weight per week. Always consult with your veterinarian before beginning a weight management or exercise program to determine an individualized regimen for your dog.

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