The following is an excerpt from Petfinder.com’s The Adopted Dog Bible
Preventing your dog from gaining weight in the first place is the best approach. But anyone who has ever looked into their dog’s eyes as he stares longingly at your pastrami sandwich knows that it’s hard to say no. If you’re having trouble keeping your pup fit and trim, the following suggestions will help:
- Reduce or eliminate table scraps and treats. These are often high in fat and calories, which contribute to obesity. Alternatively, if you feed a small amount of low-fat treats, reduce the amount of your dog’s normal meal to balance those calories.
- Reduce the amount fed at each meal. If you are feeding your dog a commercial pet food, you can easily calculate the proper amount of food by using a measuring cup or scoop.If your dog weighs forty pounds and his ideal weight is thirty pounds, feed him the suggested amount for a thirty-pound dog. When my adopted dog, Mocha, needed to take off some extra weight, I added green beans to her dinner daily while reducing the amount of other food she received. Doing this added bulk without adding many calories and helped her to feel fuller — important to me, as I am no match for her begging!
- Increase the amount of exercise your dog receives. Walking and fetching are two favorite activities that not only burn calories, but also build muscle and endurance.
- Consider switching to a commercially available low-calorie or “light” dog food. These products are typically lower in fat and higher in fiber. (Note: There is no such thing as fat-free dog food!)
Always consult a veterinarian before beginning any weight-reduction program. The veterinarian can design a weight-loss program specifically for your dog and help identify specific problems and suggest alternatives along the way. And don’t forget to weigh your dog periodically to track his progress.