Dogs by nature are wondeful companions because of their fierce loyalty, playfulness and boundless enthusiam, but when they carry some extra wieght, they can become lethargic, become less curious and have less energy. Boundary Vets are on hand to help with advice and guidance on weight management and dietary needs for your dog. Why not ask us for more information at your next appointment.
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Some of the more common reasons for canine obestiy are the lack of exercise they get and overeating. Unlike us, your dog is nt able to decide to eat less or go for more exercise, it is our job as the owners to employ these important lifestyle changes to ensure our canine companion maintains a healthy weight.
Your local veterinary team at Boundary Vets can help you with this. We will conduct a physical examination and ask you more about your dog and their lifestyle. We will establish a realistic, sustainable weight loss plan for your pet and help you encourage them to enjoy more exercise and reduce their food and calorie intake.
Make your move
Exercise can be fun for you and your dog! Playing the garden, going for walks and playing with kibble filled toys inside encourages strength in your dog, keeping them healthy and entertained. Older dogs may ot be so playful but can potter along, loosening up their joints and giving them a muscle workout nonetheless.
Here are a range of ideas of how you can maintain their fitness at home:
1. Focus on agility by creating your own obstacle course:
This is dependant upon your availabe space, but creating something with soft items like cushions can give your dog something t jump over, skip and move around or run through in the home, giving them much needed exercise! There is no need for professional equipment to do this.
2. Play hide and seek:
Go and hide in a room having told your dog to stay. Once hidden, call your dog and let them find you with their range of senses, providing them with joy when they do. Just don't get overly excited and give yourself away to soon.
3. Playing games to earn rewards:
Hiding their treats around the home provides them with a reward. This keeps them mentally active as well as giving them more home exercise. There are a number of toys available that have been designed to stimulate their mind and bodies.
4. Try and teach your dog something new:
Now might be the ideal time to teach your dog a new trick or exercise! Just remember to not overly-reward the activity, otherwise you’ll defeat the object. You could use a proportion of their daily food allowance for treats.
5. Get some new toys:
Dogs can get bored of the same old toys. Research has suggested that dogs love new toys so why not put away their old ones and give them something new and exciting to play with. Rotating their toys will keep them interested and active.
6. Play fetch:
Do you play fetch with your dog at home or in your garden? If not, why not try this or teach them to also bring the ball back to you. If you have space to throw a ball (for exmaple in a hallway) or have the ability to thrown a ball from the house into a garden, your dog will love this.
Rewarding behaviour is a good way of encouraging your dog to participate in activities. However, overfeeding your pet could result in obesity – which can result in greater stress on bones, heart, lungs and other organs. Reducing after-dinner scraps and reducing treats in-between mealtimes will help.
For any questions you may have, please book one of our weight clinics and speak to our friendly team.