• Linda Healy

Weight Reduction

Before changing your dog's diet, develop a plan of action with your veterinarian. Weight loss in canines is a slow process with several health risks. In some cases a special diet may be needed, or their may be other complicating concerns to consider, such as diabetes. Weight loss can be accomplished either by giving the dog less of its current food or switching it to a low-calorie diet food.

Keep the following tips in mind as you proceed with your program;

- Weight loss should in most cases not exceed 8 ounces to 1 pound per week.

- During this time the dog should (if the vet concurs) also receive some extra exercise.

- Avoid fatty treats. Reward the canine with praise, or offer low-calorie tidbits such as broccoli, green beans or carrots.

-If the dog seems unsatisfied with the amount of food it receives try serving it several smaller meals per day.

-If you have multiple dogs, feed them in separate locations so the dieting dog does not receive extra food.

-Be sure the dog has plenty of water at all times.

-Be sure all family members understand the diet plan. One person providing unauthorized food can disrupt the program.

-Weigh the dog weekly and keep track of its progress.

-Remember: a dog loses roughly 1 pound of weight for every 3,500 calories it expends.

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