Self-help with Large and Overweight Dogs

For a smaller or slender dog, walks and runs are often fun and they enjoy the idea of being out and about with their owner. However, for a larger dog, this isn’t always the case. Many owners allow their dogs to overeat through the giving of treats and too much food allocation. Often without a consideration to the dog’s health or wellbeing.

When is a Dog Classes as 'Overweight'?

A dog is thought to be overweight when they exceed their standard weight by an additional 10%. For example, a dog with a standard weight of 10kg is overweight when they weigh 11kg. If the animal is 15% above their standard weight, obesity is in the question. If the dog is overweight, it can put a huge strain on their joints and spine. This can cause severe health problems for the animal. The origin of the dog being overweight is usually due to the wrong type of food.

Top tip: If you can feel the dog’s ribs when your hands are loosely resting on their body and if their waist is visible from above, your four-legged friend is ideally weight-bearing.

Large Dogs

Dogs are Not Omnivores

Some dog breeds may give the impression that they are omnivores. For example, a good-natured Bernese Mountain Dog could destroy anything and everything the fridge gives. Labrador Retrievers and Golden Retrievers also tend to be overweight. 

From fruit to meat, these breeds of dog would have it all covered. Therefore, it is not surprising that such a dog becomes too fat and does not enjoy physical exercise. Even neutered four-legged friends tend to exaggerate their food intake. Therefore, make sure that a dog in puppy age does regular exercise and does not eat too much! Avoid giving your dog too many treats and keep account of their food consumption.

Consequences of being Overweight

It has been scientifically proven that overweight and too large of dogs often suffer from joint wear and tear, diabetes, as well as respiratory and cardiovascular diseases. The risk of these are also increased by obesity. If you notice your dog is unwell, we recommend visiting a vet at the earliest opportunity.

Precaution is Better than Cure

In order to ensure that your dog doesn’t become overweight, sufficient exercise and the right amount of food intake is essential. In addition, it is recommended to abstain from a rapid dietary change.

Top Tip: Remember, not every good deed whilst playing needs to be rewarded with a treat. Nor should your four-legged friend give you the famous puppy-eyes and blackmail you into giving them some food. Also, do not go straight for a new type of food just because they don’t eat their allocation food portion immediately. If the dog is healthy, they will know when they are full and more often than not, some breeds are just greedy and will continue to eat causing possible health implications.

Light Food is not an Ideal Solution

Even if you feed your pet with a large portion of food, if it has low nutritious value, your pet will demand more as their needs will not be filled. It is important to know that a dog can still be malnourished despite being overweight. Therefore, it will not help if you suddenly change your dog’s diet to a lighter option. Lighter option foods often contain indigestible components from herbal remedies. In some cases, the food may also be enriched with chemicals to absorb the lack of nutrients.

Fixed Feeding Times and Exercise

You should always feed your dog at fixed times so that the dog’s stomach can adjust to regular food intake.  By supplying good energy and rich raw materials, the dog will move more, and its metabolism becomes more dynamic. A dog is a carnivore who is not satisfied with cheap fillers such as cereals, as is often the case in light dog foods. The addition of salmon hemp oil can aid in fat metabolism.

Austrian dog

Movement is Key

With a large overweight dog, exercise can be a tricky subject. However, consistency is key. Whether you only go for a short walk each day, at least it is something! It is important not to overdo it and overburden the animal with exercise, as this could have a negative impact. However, slow and steady will be key and will slowly encourage your four-legged friend that walking isn’t too bad!

Recommendations - Help with Overweight Dogs

A dog that is overweight should not be put on light food, because the feed change brings some risks.

Light food often contains indigestible proteins from plant sources, which do not bring any real added value to the dog. Even an overweight dog needs meat and high-quality nutrients in its feed, such as amino acids and fatty acids for its healthy metabolism.

However, these rich substances are missing in many dog food diets. Many products try to use artificial vitamins and trace elements in a makeshift fashion. As a result, a dull coat, possible skin problems and metabolic disorders can be the result of malnutrition. The ideal solution is to have punctual meals, no snacks in between and a regular exercise.

We recommend a high-quality wet food compared to dry food. Wet food will provide nutritional value to the animal and can easily be measured to ensure optimal feed amounts. Also, with the added water content, the dog feels they are eating more with wet food than they would with dry food.

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