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Obesity – a ballooning problem.

Need to take some weight off your dogs shoulders?

40–50% of all dogs are now obese, causing all kinds of health problems. Usually the cause is simple: too many calories and too little exercise. So what do you do to get your squirrel-chaser back?

The first step is to visit the vet. He’ll tell you whether the cause is diet-related or if there’s a more serious cause such as a thyroid problem or diabetes.

Suddenly reducing your dog’s food intake will just result in him being hungry and unsettled. So your vet will help you structure a calorie-reduced diet that still provides all the nutrients he needs. He’ll also tell you the maximum amount of weight your dog can safely lose a week.

One thing’s for sure, those yummy titbits from the table might be his favourite but are probably best left out of his diet for a while. The good news is there are still low-calorie treats that you can give him. Large dogs love ice cubes, and carrots should also prove popular (just not too many as they might cause diarrhoea).

How to help increase his levels of exercise

Walking and running are what all dogs love! Some might be a little slow but the one way we can all show our love to our furry friends is through lots of the W.A.L.K.s. If he hasn’t been excercising much, start with a brisk ten-minute walk a day, increasing it to 20 minutes after a couple of weeks. If you have a family, share the walks – two a day is ideal. Try playing games with him and think of it as a great way to increase everyone’s exercise.

If he’s only a little overweight:

  • If your dog usually leaves food in his bowl, don’t leave it for him to eat later on. If he’s not eating it at mealtime, he doesn’t really need it.
  • Check that he’s not finding food anywhere else – it could be something as innocent as his neighbour’s bowl or the garden.
  • Is he begging for food when he’s just bored? Try a game of fetch with his favourite chew toy instead.
  • Consider the Pedigree™ Weight Control products which keep your dog fuller for longer, contain 30% less fat and still 100% complete

Here’s looking forward to a leaner, happier dog.

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