This is no holiday, it is a call to action!
Pet obesity has hit epidemic levels in the US, with more than half of all America’s dogs being on the overweight side. Sorry to break it to you, but it is your fault!
We are in charge of when our dogs eat, how much they eat, when they exercise, and every other aspect of their lives. We may lack the will power to control our own bad habits (I’m looking at you midnight snackers) but our pups don’t have any control over it. The very first thing you can do to help your dog stay in better shape (and help yourself as well) is get your lazy self off that chair and take your dog for a walk. I know, I know, you don’t have time. You turn your dog’s one or two opportunities to get outside during the day into a quick stroll to the end of the driveway for a pee, a poo, and back into the house so you can argue with your Uncle Bob on Facebook some more. You chose to have a dog, you need to take responsibility for him. Walks are easy ways to keep your dog active, keep yourself active, and give yourself a much needed break from the tasks of the day. Studies show those walks are really beneficial. Stick with it and it will become habit. Before long, you will miss it if you have to skip a walk.
Having trouble walking your dog because he pulls? Maybe he’s reactive to people or other dogs? Some of it may simply be that because your dog is not getting out regularly enough, he is overstimulated. More walking can lead to better walking. If it is still a problem, contact your local trainer for guidance.
One last bit of advice for keeping a healthy weight dog. If you are feeding with a bowl, change to the smallest size your dog can comfortably eat from. This has nothing to do with your dog’s perspective, but yours. If the bowl looks mostly empty, you are more likely to put extra food in it. If possible, you might want to ditch the bowl altogether and use your dog’s food as training rewards so he has to earn his kibble.
If you know you need to do something about your dog’s weight, but don’t know where to start, be sure to check out The American Canine Podcast this month as we talk to canine fitness experts about starting your pup on a program.
So for now, get out there and do something with your dog!