Dog obesity is a serious problem in America that leads to numerous health issues and shortened lifespans. It's just as important to maintain a healthy weight for your dog as it is to maintain a healthy weight for your own body. If your dog is overweight, you may need to change his diet and exercise routine to get him back on track. Here are some fitness tips for fat dogs to help your dog get into shape.
Don’t Feed Your Dog Human Food
If you dog regularly eats your food, he may stop eating his food. No matter how much they may beg for that roast beef in the slow cooker, the fact is that they have food designed just for them. If you start giving your dog human food, he may turn away the healthy dog food he has in his bowl. You can avoid this entire problem by sticking strictly with dog food from the start.
Make sure that your entire family is on the same page about this matter. If your children feed your dog human food behind your back, it defeats the purpose of setting rules. Everyone needs to understand that your dog cannot eat human food to maximize the chance that he’ll eat his regular food.
Keep Your Food Separate from Your Dog’s Food
Human food and dog food should be stored in two different places. Otherwise, your dog may begin to associate your food with his food. When you put food in your dog’s bowl, keep the bowl in the floor and bring the food down to it. Do not prepare it up on the counter where you prepare your family’s meals. The more separation there is, the more your dog will realize that food is set up specifically for him.
Look for Potential Eating Problems
Is there a reason why your dog isn’t eating the food? Does he have chipped or broken teeth that make it difficult for him to chew hard food? Is the food left out for too long so that it no longer tastes good (usually for wet food)? Is your dog throwing up because the food does not agree with his stomach? If there are health problems associated with your dog’s picky eating habits, you need to address them as soon as possible. Once your dog starts feeling better, he should start eating better as well.
Test Different Types of Food
If your dog simply refuses to eat unless he’s starving, you may try buying a different flavor of dog food. If you typically buy cheap supermarket dog food, you may consider upgrading to higher quality raw dog food. If you only had Ramen Noodles to eat, you’d eventually grow tired of food too. Give your dog something worth eating, and he is a lot more likely to eat the way he is supposed to.
Stick to a Feeding Schedule
Dogs thrive on routines. The more repetitive their schedules can be, the better off they are. Feed your dog the same amount of food at the same time each day, adjusting the portions over time to fit your dog’s age, weight, and body type. As your dog gets used to this routine, he will be more inclined to eat. “This is the time they feed me. I guess I should eat now.” You may test a few different times in the day, like before breakfast, during breakfast, and after breakfast, to see when your dog does best. Some dogs get distracted when other people are eating around them, and others take it as a cue to eat.
Utilize these tips, and your picky eater dog will develop healthy eating habits in no time.