Has your pup really let things go?
Just like their two-legged friends, dogs who don't get enough exercise and/or eat too much (or too much of the wrong food) are at risk for putting on a few extra pounds.
And (just like us) weight gain increases the risk for many diseases and ailments that endanger your dog's overall health, not to mention his quality of life and overall wellbeing.
If this is the case, you should look into a weight control program to ensure your dog’s good health. But don't just guess — you need to make sure he's still getting the proper nutritional balance.
In four easy steps, you can calculate your dog’s caloric requirement to ensure he loses the extra weight (and stays healthy doing it).
The only items you'll need are: a scale, calculator and a little bit of knowledge.
Once you understand your dog’s calorie burn rate, you simply need to feed him fewer calories than he burns on a daily basis to ensure steady weight loss.
But be aware: not all dog food lists the number of calories in each serving. Be sure to search for dog food and snacks with the calories listed.
Caloric Weight Loss Formula:
- Convert your dog's body weight to kilograms (kg). 1 lb. is equal to 0.453 kilograms. For this example, assume your dog weighs 22 lbs.; simply plug it into the equation.
22 (dog's current weight in lbs.) x 0.453 (metric conversion standard) = 9.9
You can round to 10.
- Calculate the calorie requirement for his desired weight. Do this by raising the body weight in kg to the power of .75 and then multiplying that number by 132.
132 x (10)^0.75 = 742 kcal (kilocalories).
- Control the number of calories to feed for weight loss (this can be done easily by taking 60% or 70% of the value you got in Step 2).
742 x 0.60 = 445 kcal/day.
- Lower the dog's intake to the number calculated in Step 3. When the goal weight has been achieved, increase your dog’s calorie intake in food to the number calculated in step 2.
Introducing a reduced calorie diet to your dog means that he will be taking in less food (duh.) And guess what? He'll notice.
It's important to ensure your pet has dog toys that he likes to chew on and play with in order to distract him from the missing food. This will also keep him stimulated and engaged (and provide additional exercise).
Additionally, your pup should have access to a water bowl filled with clean, fresh water. The water intake helps him feel fuller while preventing stress and reducing the urge to gnaw on furniture.
Sound a bit like a human diet plan? Reduce your calories and exercise more?
That's because it's basically the same formula. Only we don't get cute squeaky toys to chew on when we're craving cheesecake.
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