We’ve all been there. The New Year slump as we try to lose the extra kilos we gained over Christmas. The panic as it gets to May and we realise our ‘beach body’ is a little more ‘beached whale’. Luckily, we’re usually a bit more in control of our dog’s diet, but it’s easy to take your eye off the (tennis)ball with all that fluff in the way. Working out if your dog needs to gain or lose a little weight can be tricky – especially as every dog is perfect!
To spare your blushes next time you visit the vet, we’ve got a couple of great tips to help you keep your pup fit and healthy.
Keep an eye on their body condition.
You should be able to feel their ribs when you run your hands down their sides. If they’re really prominent, usually to the point you can see them through the skin, they might need to gain a little extra weight. If you can’t feel them without pushing down, if at all, it might be time to cut out some treats to get them back on track. Next time you’re giving them a good fuss, take a moment to check (it takes two seconds).
Check their weight.
If you have some scales at home and don’t mind being faced with your own reality, step on the scales, check the weight and then stand on them again, but this time holding your dog. Check the difference and you should be able to work out your dog’s weight. If you’d rather not have to weigh yourself, or your dog is a bit too big to weigh at home, pop down to your vet and they’ll have a scale you can use. You might even kill two birds with one stone if they’re scared of the vet!
There might be a few reasons your dog is gaining or losing weight. Much like humans, age, health, metabolism and activity levels can all have an impact on how much food your pup needs. Any changes (such as going from puppy to adult, or a new health condition) can affect their weight, so it’s really important to keep an eye on them and speak to your vet if you have any concerns.
If you do find your four-legged friend needs to make a change to their diet, our tailor-made recipes can help. We’ll use all the details that make your dog unique to come up with the perfect plan for them – and we even have an in-house Nutrition Team on hand to support you both.
Want to know more about dog weight management? Read this blog about managing your dog’s weight and how to keep it under control.