Dog Diets: Weight Management Dog Food and Exercise
Want to support a long, happy and healthy life for your dog? One of the most important things you can do is control his weight.
According to a survey of veterinarians by the Association for Pet Obesity and Prevention, more than half of all dogs in the U.S. are overweight or obese. This could exacerbate health concerns, such as diabetes, heart disease and arthritis, and it could reduce a dog’s life span. Regular exercise plus a weight management dog food formula, when fed according to package feeding guidelines, might help your dog stay healthy and fit.
How to Determine if Your Dog is Overweight
Can you feel the outline of your dog’s ribs? When you look at your dog from above, does he have a waist? Does his belly appear tucked up when viewed from the side? If you answered no to these questions, your dog may be overweight. First take him to your veterinarian to confirm his body condition and rule out any potential medical issues that could be causing the weight gain. Talk to your veterinarian about changing your dog’s diet, and establish a plan to get him back to a healthy weight.
Switching to a Weight Management Formula
Your veterinarian may recommend a dog food that’s specially formulated for weight management. When choosing a weight management dog food formula, read the labels carefully to compare guaranteed analyses and check for high-quality ingredients. With dog food, weight management formulas are specially developed to provide the nutrition adult dogs needs while reducing fat and/or calories. Purina ONE® SmartBlend® Healthy Weight Formula adult dog food, for example, has 25% less fat and 15% fewer calories than Purina ONE SmartBlend Lamb and Rice Formula. With real turkey as the first ingredient and a mix of crunchy kibble and tender, meaty morsels, it’s got a taste dogs love.
When determining how much to feed, always see the packaging for specific guidelines. If your dog needs to lose weight, your veterinarian may suggest reducing the amount of food given at each meal until he reaches his ideal body condition. Monitor his weight regularly. If he continues to gain weight, you may need to adjust his feeding amount again.
Don’t forget about exercise, too! Establish a routine that suits your dog’s life stage and lifestyle. If he’s a senior dog that’s often sedentary, one easy walk each day may be best. If your dog is younger and has more energy to burn, better exercise could be jogging, brisk walks, games of fetch or trips to the dog park. As always, offer him plenty of fresh water, especially if you are increasing his physical activity.
Helping your dog maintain an ideal body condition could help extend his healthy years. Your dog will thank you!