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Race Your Dog!
- Before changing your dog's daily diet or activity, be sure to consult his veterinarian regarding his ability to add activity or change foods. With approval from your vet, you may try some or all of the ideas below.
- First and foremost, add a few minutes each day to your dog's walk and continue this uptick as much as possible. Increase it further on weekends or vacations. Do keep in mind your dog's advancing age or disabilities when increasing his activity level.
- Add new and different methods of exercise to use additional muscles and brain power that burn calories: mentally-stimulating games, agility classes, dog park visits, swimming, biking, Fetch and more. Look for a list of additional ideas to change up your exercise routine at the bottom of this post.
- Select a high quality, weight management food. When cutting calories, it increasingly important to make sure all the needed vitamins and minerals are present. Make sure the bag indicates it is AAFCO approved. We like Organix Weight Management, by Castor and Pollux Petworks, which provides a minimum of 70% organic ingredients, assuring more of a chemical-free, healthier source of U.S. produced meats, fruits and vegetables, and sold in an Eco-friendly No. 2 recyclable bag. Locate a store near you at this link.
- Read the feeding guidelines carefully, realizing that most offer a daily serving range. You'll have to gauge where to start in that range by your dog's current activity level and food consumption.
- Splitting up your dog's daily feeding into 2 or even 3 meals a day, when possible, is helpful in staving off hunger pangs in dogs, just as it is with people.
- Be certain to follow transition guidelines when switching foods so as not to upset the delicate balance in your dog's tummy. You want this switch to go smoothly for his digestive system.
- Substitute a small amount of your dog's kibble with fresh, organic green beans. This is, by far, the most nutritious, low-calorie filler you can give him, and most dogs love this addition to their diet. Green beans provide added B vitamins that are essential to good health.
- A second and less frequent supplement may be a small serving of baked organic sweet potato, which adds extra fiber and Beta Carotene.
- Still feel the need to offer daily treats? Try lower calorie ones like frozen broth bombs. Organic chicken, turkey or beef broth frozen in ice cube trays is a delightful Summer treat!
- Look down at your dog's backbone. Do you see an indentation at the waist area? Is Fido's tummy tucked in on the bottom? If so, these are good signs.
- Now feel Fido's ribs. If you can differentiate between them, he's probably sporting a comfortable weight.
- Finally, ask your veterinarian's opinion. Some breeds tend to gain weight in spotty areas and may need expert observation. If you think your dog has a pot belly or too full of a chest, get him examined to find out for sure. Your best friend is worth this extra effort.
Change up your exercise routine with some of these ideas:
- Backpacks Are Not Just for Students and Hikers
- Biking Your Dog for Fun and Fitness
- Why You Shouldn't Walk Your Dog Every Day
- Your Dog's Walk: Changing it Up for More Stimulation
- Dog Jogging Fun for Fido
- Swimming Isn't Just for Lab Lovers
- Teaching Your Dog to Fetch
- Agility Training: Challenging and Oh So Humbling!
- Springer Makes Biking Your Dog Safer and More Fun