Setting out to help your dog achieve his optimal weight can be daunting. But you can do it! Just follow these four key steps and experience the rewards of a more dynamic life together.
4 Steps to the Optimal Weight
To help your dog lose weight and reach a healthy size, give him a nutritionally balanced diet. When your dog is on a weight management programme, feed him two or three smaller meals rather than one larger meal. These evenly spaced highlights throughout the day will prevent him feeling hungry. At the same time, measure his meals accurately to help you avoid overfeeding him - the Purina® PRO PLAN® range has detailed guidelines on the pack.
Try to avoid feeding your dog leftovers. It may seem like a treat for him, but this adds many unwanted calories in the wrong nutritional form. Family and friends can contribute to this bad habit, so make sure they know about his healthy weight management programme.
Treats are part of your relationship with your dog. However, if you give him treats too often you might be accidentally overfeeding him, as treats count towards his daily allowance and add hidden calories. To help your dog lose weight follow a few simple guidelines:
- Don't feed him fatty treats
- Try treats in smaller sizes or healthier PRO PLAN® Light Biscuits
- Make a daily ‘treat box’. Every time you give your dog a treat, put a treat in the box. This gives you a guide to how many treats you’re giving him, so you won’t lose track.
- If your dog begs for treats, try giving him attention instead. Playing will distract him from food and sheds calories while you share fun.
Whether you’re strolling through the woods or playing ‘fetch’ in the park, exercise and play are vital to your relationship together. It’s a fun way to help your dog lose weight and maintain his optimal size, and a great opportunity to bond and enjoy the great outdoors. Variety is the spice of life, so try mixing your exercise routine up in the following ways:
Use toys to make a walk with your dog more fun
If he enjoys fetching a ball, consider using a tennis racquet to send the ball farther. This will give him more of a run, and it will make the game more exciting too.
Try walking with other dog owners
Groups of dogs and owners are more likely to walk further. Your dog might even make a play friend, and dogs who play together burn more calories.
Consider varying your walking routine
Whether it’s a change of route or a switch of pace from a walk to a jog, varying your routine will make exercise more exciting.
Remember, if your dog is old or arthritic, his exercise potential might be limited. Consult your vet for the best course of action.
If you are helping your dog lose weight, set some reachable goals. Weight management goals make it easy and fun to measure your dog’s progress. Consider keeping a progress chart of your dog’s weight, measuring his waistline and monitoring his shape with the Body Condition System.
A good target to aim for is 2% weight loss per week. Make that target a shared experience with your dog and reward him along the way with a new bowl or toy. For a more official, accurate assessment, make an appointment with your vet.
Just like humans, dogs lose weight gradually – it is a slow process. Don’t let that deter you or your dog. Gradual is great and means the weight is more likely to stay off. With the support of your vet, PRO PLAN® nutrition and a new exercise routine, he’ll get the happiness and health he needs to enjoy his amazing world for longer.
- Give him love and attention, not food
- Treats are fine within calorie limits
- Be prepared to progress slowly with weight loss
- Play and exercise. The more, the better.
He’ll show you the difference
As he progresses through the weight management programme, expect your unbreakable bond to grow even stronger as you spend quality time together.
- More mobility so you can do more together
- Greater playfulness for maximum fun
- Less tiredness for a more energetic life
- Less shortness of breath for more exercise and exploring
- A trim and slim profile so he’ll look as great as he feels