Inactivity in dogs can certainly have the potential to lead your dog into becoming overweight or even obese. When dogs weigh more than their target weight, it can have adverse effects on their heart, lungs, joints and other vital organs. If you suspect your pup is getting a little too pudgy, go ahead and take some steps to improve your pet’s weight and overall health.

The first thing you will want to do if you suspect your dog is overweight is to talk to your veterinarian. They will be able to tell you your pet’s ideal weight, and whether or not your dog is actually overweight. If your pup is a little pudgy, work out a safe weight loss plan with your vet. They will be able to tell you how you can safely lower your pet’s weight and improve their health. Here are a few ways that you can help lower your pet’s weight safely with the help of a vet:

First, feed your dog less food. Decreasing the size of their dinner portions will give them less caloric intake. If you choose to give your dog a new brand or type of dog food, it is always best to do so in gradual steps. Sometimes immediately switching to a new dog food can upset your pup’s stomach. Mix in a third of the new food with two thirds of the regular food the first day. Then on the second day, switch to a two third portion of the new food, and one third of the old brand. And then on the third day, go ahead and simply feed your pup their new food in the designated portions.

Oftentimes, canine obesity can be attributed to being fed scraps from the family dinner table. Let the people food be saved for the people. If human food were good for dogs, then there would be no need for food specially designed for dogs. If you feed your pup from the dinner table, stop. You may need to put your doggie in the other room or outside in the backyard to resist those big brown begging eyes…that’s fine. If you stop feeding your dog people food, depending on how often you feed them, you may see a dramatic decrease in their pudginess.

Finally, exercise benefits everyone, even pets. Talk to your vet before you begin an exercise plan for your dog, so you can make sure he or she is healthy enough to begin exercising regularly. You will want to start taking your dog on short walks twice a day. Gradually increase the length and distance each week. Once you feel your dog is ready to step it up, increase the pace as well. This will help shed their extra pounds, as well as simply improving their general health.

Remember, before establishing a serious weight loss plan for your pet, talk to your vet. They will help you determine the best way for your doggie to lose their excess weight. Don’t forget, by helping your pet lose their extra pounds, you are most likely increasing their life and happiness!

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