We all know the time-old ‘motivator’ – you have to work in winter to get your summer body! Yup, time and time again – or shall we say winter and winter again – we are faced with the challenges that combating the colder months come with. Those challenges are usually in the form of soup and bread, rice and stew, hot chocolate…
We, as hoomans, are not the only ones who face these challenges. We often look at our dogs and have words of admiration streamed with multiple kisses when we see their cute little tummies, but in actual fact, never take into consideration the effects that our doggy’s own paunch may have on them!
Just like us, our canine friends need to keep their body’s health in check. Simply put, they can suffer from the same negative impacts that we do from excess weight!
It is hard enough keeping yourself on the right track when you are trying to lose those extra couple of kilos, so how on earth can you do the same for your dog when they are showing signs of gain? It is simpler and easier than you would think… Just a couple of introductions and removals from their lifestyle can ensure your furbaby is as healthy as can be!
First ensure that they do actually have something to lose! A quick checkup at the vet will likely answer all your questions, but as a guideline: Your pup should actually have that hour-glass figure us hoomans strive for! If you can see a distinct cinching in from the end of their ribcage to their abdomen, they are a likely a healthy weight.
Diet changes – dun dun duuun: At this vet checkup, your vet will be able to provide you with the caloric intake your dog needs to maintain a healthy weight. Just like us, their age, breed and lifestyle hugely impacts how much they should be eating!
Get them out of the house! Introducing a new fetch toy, some walks around the block, and more tug-o-war games will not only distract your pup from the imminent ‘lack’ of food they will feel they are experiencing, but really will make a huge step forward to their weight-loss goals!
Getting your dog into the swing of things will likely be the hardest part, ESPECIALLY when it comes to their favourite times of the day – eating and the “I love you” snacks that mom tends to maybe, sometimes, go a little overboard with!
Introduce a new and better diet – this doesn’t always mean less food. Sometimes what might help the most is just increasing the quality of the food you are feeding your pets. Consider making homemade treats and food instead of the same old kibble. Psst – check out our recent article on some healthy tips and tricks for your furbabies day-to-day meal:
If you notice a little speedier-than-necessary eating, why not get them a slow feeder bowl, or spread the meat served with their food on the sides of their bowl, this adds more time for licking around than just wolfing down the food!
And an obvious one – ensure their pet siblings’ food is not accessible, you know, temptations and all that!
The only thing that should be mentioned along the lines of food quantities, is that during the winter months, our pets (especially those who have their kennels outside) should actually be given a little more food, simply so that their bodies can work to keep themselves warm during the chillier months.
Though it might be a little tricky in the beginning to resist their begging and whining for food, “How dare mom staaarve me”, you should find your way quite easily, and might even get more quality time with your pawbaby during their exercising that you may have been missing!
Are you looking to go away for a weekend? Have a big holiday planned in the not too distant future? Visit www.studentco.co.za to find the perfect pet sitter for your furbaby’s needs. Visits and stay-over services; R130– R250 per day. Daily doggie walks always included at no extra charge!