How to manage your dog’s weight
Being overweight can cause a dog real health problems, ranging from arthritis to diabetes; and a lighter, fitter dog will recover better from illness or injury. An overweight dog may not live as long as their slimmer friends, and certainly won’t enjoy such a healthy and active life.
Happily, it’s pretty easy to recognise and act upon the signs of canine obesity, and even easier to control their future diet. Here’s Guru’s guide to preventing plump pets.
What are the signs that my dog’s overweight?
Because our dogs come in all shapes and sizes, it’s tricky to simply weigh them and carry out a simple BMI calculation. There are dog weight calculators online, but we’d always recommend a regular weigh-in with the V.E.T.
You can also keep an eye on your dog’s appearance. With most breeds, their tummies should slope upwards towards their back ends, rather than hang down roundly in the middle. From above, it should look like your dog has a waist, curving in slightly in the middle.
If you run your hands over them, you should just about be able to feel their ribs. These shouldn’t stick out, but you should be able to tell they’re there without having to press deeply. We appreciate that this is harder with fluffier dogs!
My dog’s overweight – what do I do?
Firstly, don’t panic and stick them on a crash diet. Like any successful human slimming plan, the key is gradual and manageable weight loss – plus cutting down on all those pound-piling treats.
Start off by speaking to your vet and getting their advice about managing the initial weight loss (as well as making sure there isn’t an underlying cause for those extra ounces). Then, long-term, the aim is to get them onto a healthy diet, feeding them the right amount, and minimising snacks.
If you use our handy feeding calculator, it will tell you how much Guru you need to feed your dog based on their ideal weight.
What should I do if my dog’s underweight?
Weight gain is easier to explain than weight loss, especially if your pet’s fond of their food. Any unexplained drop in weight needs checking out by the vet. Hopefully they’ll rule out anything worrying, and will discuss managing their diet going forward.
Again, it’s super-important to make sure your dog is getting the right nutrient and calorie intake every day. Our feeding guide calculators work perfectly for most dogs to keep them in just the right shape, however if you find that your dog is super active or struggles to keep weight on, then you may have to adjust the amount you feed accordingly. If this is the case, you can try increasing the amount of Guru you feed, just make sure to keep an eye on your dogs weight and if you start to notice loose stools, this can be a sign of over feeding. If this occurs, just gradually reduce the number of grams you feed, until you find the portion size that best suits your dog. It may be that you have to feed a thinner dog little and often at first, so as not to overload them.
How do I keep my dog at a healthy weight?
Like us, dogs need to have the right balance of a healthy and nutritious diet, and regular exercise. Most of us take our dogs out at least twice a day; however, a stroll to the post office isn’t going to run off many cals! Think about more active trips out, such as a good old game of fetch down the park. (If you have an older dog, or your pet has an underlying condition, speak with a professional about the safest sorts of exercise.)
And when it comes to a healthy diet, we can definitely help you there…!
How can Guru help?
Guru’s complete dog food is satisfying and delicious, ensuring your dog’s tum is happily full. A Guru-fed pet won’t need to go scrounging for extra treats, as our Cold Pressed food keeps them fuller for longer. Because our food is cold-pressed, the nutrients aren’t reduced or destroyed by heating, so you know your dog’s getting everything they need to stay healthy. Plus, our calculator allows you to serve up the perfect portion for your pet’s size.
Of course, it’s hard to completely cut out treats, especially as most of us pet parents use them as rewards and training aids. Try a nutritious treat such as our Nothing To Hide Reel Fishskins, which are full of fishy goodness and Omega 3.
Why not find out how switching to Guru helped gorgeous boy Harvey lose weight and regain an active lifestyle here.
If you have any questions or you’d like to have a chat, please feel free to call one of the Geeks on 01257 255800, we’re always happy to help!
Thanks for reading,
The Guru Geeks xx