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After we put on a few kilograms, whether it be because of winter or a relaxing holiday, it’s often the case that we don’t feel our best.

Just as this is the case with humans, it is also very possible that it can happen to your cute little dogs. How dogs can become overweight can differ to a great extent – they might be getting the wrong food, too much food or simply not enough exercise. There are a few things you can do to bring this weight under control, though – in this article we detail a few of them to give you an idea of how to bring your four legged friend back to a sensible weight and stave off any bad health issues.

Dog weight basics

Even if you find the best dog insurance in Australia, a very unhealthy lifestyle will shorten the life of your dog more than you would expect. Obesity is the most common disease among dogs, and if they’re overweight for too long it is possible for them to develop extremely debilitating illnesses like heart disease, diabetes joint problems, infections and skin disease. So, if you though giving your dog treats frequently was harmless, it’s probably best to think again!

It can be tough for dogs to lose weight once its been put on, particularly with older dogs, but this doesn’t mean you’re completely out of options. As with humans, to manage a dog’s weight, you just have to make sure they expend less energy than they take in. Usually, this will be managed through both diet and exercise over a prolonged period, just as a human would if they gained a bit of unwanted flab. If you aren’t sure whether our dog is actually overweight, a good test is to check to see how prominent their waist is (hint: you should be able to see it) and to check if you can feel their ribs – obviously, they shouldn’t be sticking out, but you shouldn’t have trouble finding them if your dog is of a healthy weight.

Getting your dog healthy

If your dog is overweight, before you start them on a health routine, it’s not a bad idea to visit a vet for a check-up. The vet will be able to check your dog thoroughly and tell you whether they have any weight-related health problems, as this may also impact the kind of exercise your dog can engage with. It’s also a good time to ask any questions about helping your dog lose weight that you might be thinking about, such as diet recommendations.

Changing your dog’s diet rapidly can lead to your dog becoming sick, so you should take a bit of time to understand what they need – often, it’s just a case of less food. Once you do begin the weight loss routine for your pet, make sure to weigh them every week to gauge how well their weight loss schedule is going, and from there you can adjust accordingly – too much weight lost in a small amount of time is bad, remember.

Meal schedules matter

A meal schedule often helps a great deal with managing your dog’s weight, as scheduled meals can ensure you’re always able to monitor what your dog eats (rather than just leaving a bowl out for them to eat at their own discretion). It’s also important to not feed them table scraps – if you feel you must, go for something with low kilojoules, such as pieces of fruit or vegetables.