Canine Obesity - Weight Management for Dogs
Up to 50 per cent of dogs in the UK suffer from obesity and being overweight can do more than cause Fido to run out of puff! Dogs that carry too much weight can suffer from low energy levels, joint problems, heart problems and diabetes. What’s more, research shows that obese dogs can live on average two years less than their slimmer counterparts.
How can I tell if my dog is overweight?
- Does the base of his tail seem thick?
- Is it difficult to see his waist?
- Does he have a broad back?
- Is it difficult to feel his ribs?
If you’re worried that your dog is overweight take him to your local vet practice for a weigh in. Your vet or vet nurse will be able to advise you on your dog’s ideal weight and recommend a dog weight loss programme which will combine advice on both diet and exercise.
Exercise will help burn off the extra weight, maintain a healthy heart, keep muscle toned and joints supple. Your role is to act as your dog’s personal trainer. Dog workouts can consist of a 20-minute walk on the lead right through to setting up an obstacle course in the garden! If your dog is ruled by his stomach, try putting his food in a toy to encourage him to play. See more dog exercise tips on the Hill's website.
Ninety per cent of owners admit to not exercising their dogs enough, so check the UK’s 21 Top Dog Walks and see if there is a walk near you.
Dogs with unlimited access to food can become overweight as they’ll just eat what’s put in front of them. It’s advisable to regulate your pet’s food intake by accurately measuring his daily allowance with a cup and then splitting into meals. Otherwise, that extra mouthful you give him could add up to an extra meal!
Dogs will pile on the pounds if they’re fed scraps from the table or extra treats throughout the day – check the Hill's website for the equivalent of the unhealthy snacks to human food. If you are one of the 40 per cent of pet owners that feed them treats more than once a day, you can also get some ideas for low calorie healthy pet snacks.
There are clinically-proven, safe weight loss diets available, like Hill’s™ Prescription Diet™ r/d™, which are formulated to help your dog reach his ideal weight, reduce the risk of disease and make a lifelong improvement to his quality of life. Hill’s Prescription Diet r/d is clinically proven to reduce fat by 22% in just 8 weeks. Easy and effective weight loss – your dog is guaranteed to lose weight in just 8 weeks, or Hill’s gives you your money back.
Ask your vet about Hill’s Prescription Diet r/d or weight maintenance product such as Hill’s Prescription Diet w/d or j/d reduced calorie. These products are available only though vet clinics.
If you own an obesity-prone dog, ask at your vet clinic or in a pet shop about Hill’s Science Plan Light – a lower calorie food.
Finding your local vet
To discover the vets in your area visit the Hill's Directory