Does your dog spend the whole day looking forward to meal time? Or begging for treats or table scraps? Many dogs love their food and if they lack exercise that can sometimes lead to weight problems. An astonishing 53% of adult dogs are considered overweight. This can lead to a slew of problems, including: heart problems, infections, heat exhaustion, osteoarthritis and in some cases cancer. Therefore, it’s imperative that we help our dogs maintain a healthy weight.

Animals gain and lose weight the same way we do as humans, by eating less and exercising more. Getting dogs out of the house is often very helpful with weight problems. Dog parks are very popular and are a great way for your dog to get some exercise and they almost always enjoy it! A park with a bunch of their friends sounds like doggy heaven! Having interactive toys are also helpful for dogs that need a little more exercise. A traditional walk is always very helpful to get a dog out and about and to burn excess calories. It is always hard to find time in our busy lives to make sure our dogs get a little more exercise, but it is imperative to their help, and often times exercising with our dogs is beneficial to us as well! A nice day at the dog park or an evening walk is often just what we need to clear the head and relax after a long day, just imagine how a dog feels!

Diet is also important to help dogs keep a lean figure. There are many ways to feed a dog, some people open feed; there is wet food, dry food, homemade food etc. So what is best for your dog? It depends on you and your lifestyle, but if your dog is overweight then perhaps it is time to switch up the feeding. If you feed your dog wet food how about trying a little less each week until you’re down to just a tablespoon or two of wet food. This will cut back on calories without completely depriving your dog of the wet food they love. Talking to your vet about what works best for you and your dog is a great idea. They will help you to come up with the best diet and exercise plan for your family. Here’s a good article to help get you started: http://www.petmd.com/blogs/fullyvetted/2013/feb/new-help-for-overweight-pets#.UT4yktaoqE5.

What do you do? Do you open feed? Do you use wet food or dry food? Have you ever had problems with your dog being overweight?