Is your chow hound losing the battle of the bulge?
Have no fear! There is a proven plan to get your beagle back in shape and it doesn’t involve any fad diets or crazy exercise equipment.
But before you start your beagle on his new regime.. .How can you tell he’s overweight?
For readers who are unsure if their pet is at an optimal weight, I would encourage you to ask your veterinarian. Your pet should have a waist that can either be seen or felt when viewed from above and you should be able to feel her ribs with just a slight fat covering. Find out what your pet weighed last year to see if she has gained weight.
Once you confirm he’s on the heavy side then you need to get a base line on just how much your pup is eating.
One tip that will help with your dog’s weight-loss plan is to determine how many calories she is currently eating. If you are not already doing so, measure the amount of pet food you are feeding. You can contact the manufacturer to find out how many calories are in a cup or can of her food.
Treats, chews and table foods are often a major source of extra calories. All foods have calories and need to be counted in a weight loss plan. Pet food manufacturers can tell you how many calories are in the treats and rawhide chews that you might be feeding.
Once you know how much your doggy is eating now it’s time to cut back his intake a little. The first place to start is the treats you give him.
As a general guideline, treats, chews and table foods should not constitute more than 10 percent of your pet’s total daily calorie intake. Therefore feeding lower calorie treats such as green beans rather than higher-calorie fatty meats or rawhides may help. Also, give more “non-food” rewards such as a scratch on the head or a quick game of fetch so that the majority of your interactions are not food focused.
Next step is to feed your beagle a lower calorie dog food.
Ask your veterinarian to recommend a complete and balanced food that is formulated for weight loss. These diets deliver all the nutrition your pet needs with fewer calories. Many also have certain nutrients that can help your pet feel full while losing weight.
Be sure to monitor your beagle’s progress to make sure his new diet working
Weigh your pet every two to four weeks to make sure she is losing at an appropriate rate. The amount of calories your individual pet needs to lose weight may be very different from another pet, so the feeding amount will vary from pet to pet. Your veterinarian can help you develop an appropriate plan.
The final part of the plan is good old fashioned exercise. Things like walks, playing fetch, our dog’s favorite, find it.
Helping your pet achieve a healthy weight is one of the most important things you can do for her overall health. As with diet plans in people, it takes commitment and determination, but the rewards are well worth the effort.
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