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Help Your Dog to Make New Year's Resolutions to Lose Weight

 


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Well, of course, you will have to make these resolutions for your dog and see that they get carried out. The two most important resolutions are: Eat Less and Exercise More. Sound familiar? We are talking about our dogs here, but this is good advice for all pet owners, as we are seeing an explosion of obese people. Getting weight off and keeping it off can be a challenge for humans as well as dogs. Of course, dogs do not have as much control over what they put into their mouths, as people do. Yoyo dieting is very hard on the body-once again we see articles about Oprah Winfrey weighing over 200 pounds. Weight does not care who or what you are, but constantly stressing the body to lose weight over and over again is very detrimental. And as our dogs age, they need to be at a comfortable weight for their size.    

Is your dog a couch potato? Millions of dogs are over weight because they are over fed.  This is not hard to understand-if dogs over eat and do not get enough exercise to burn off the calories, then they will develope a weight problem. Just like people. It is time to help your dog slim down and change his daily habits. Chances are that if your dog is fat, YOU are not getting enough exercise! A dog that is active and trim will lead a more healthy life, both mentally and physically. Dogs need to exercise to keep from becoming bored.   

With the rising cost of veterinary services today, it is a good idea to keep your dog healthy and fit. Less weight is easier on his joints and hips if he suffers from arthritis.

If your dog only has a few pounds to lose, you can begin to slightly cut back on his food portions. Some canned dog food has alot of fat in it, so you may want to introduce some dry food. Whatever you chose to feed your dog, please take the time to inform yourself on the ingredients that the food contains. Remember, the pet food recall and all the senseless deaths? So, please do your best furry friend a favor by feeding quality foods. You owe your dog that consideration.

You can get an accurate weight of your dog by weighing at your vet. Or by standing on an accurate bathroom scale, holding your dog and deducting your weight from the reading. That  only works if you are able to hold your dog! Never, ever put your dog on a crash diet. Crash dieting is not good for man or beast!

Dogs, just like people need to cut out between meal snacking. When your dog has finished his meal, pick up his food bowl. If you do this,  then your dog won't be tempted to nibble all day. Kind of like having a bowl of potato chips out on the counter all day-we can not eat just one chip!

Do  the rib cage test on your dog. Run your hands on his sides and count his ribs. Can you even find his ribs? Are they hidden under a layer of fat and fur? A good exercise workout is a great substitute for food and for a dog working “out’ is play. Do not over do and try to get all the weight off in just one day. Try throwing a ball or just jogging with your dog. However, if your dog has been used to a quiet daily routine, then you should start out slowly. Do not push your dog to keep running or jumping. This can create problems if he has not been active for awhile. Your dog will need to build his stamina for workouts. If you live in a two story home, encourage your dog to come up and down the stairs. Have him follow you from room to room as you go about your housework. The point here is to keep him moving some during the day, instead of sleeping all day.

Most all dogs love to play ball or fetch a stick, but there is nothing more enjoyable than taking your dog for a walk and seeing the world through his eyes. It is a great bonding time and pleasurable for both of you. They are so curious about their surroundings.

As with your personal exercise routine, your dog needs to be on a regular schedule. Even if it is only 20 minutes a day, do it regularly, and your dog will look forward to the time and he will know when it is his “time" to work out with you. Do not skip a whole week and then expect him to do a strenuous work out all at once!

We should make a point to make and keep our resolutions, to strive to make all our family members healthier every day through wise choices of diet and exercise. If we do that, we will all enjoy better health in the years to come.

More information and articles about dogs by Sparrow Darling at http://www.dogsandothercompanions.com

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