Putting on some pounds during the holiday season is no big surprise with all the mouth-watering meals enjoyed around the table. Tossing a piece of turkey or a roll your pet’s way from time to time seems harmless enough, but the extra morsels add up. Generous owners may enable their dog to beg for food when they simply don’t need it. If you want to slim your dog’s belly down and make sure he or she is as fit as can be, consider changing up some of their dietary habits.
Set a designated time of day for your pet to eat and repeat. Mornings are a natural time to do so, with you and your dog rising for the day. Get them in the habit of eating their morning meal followed by a bathroom break – this will, steadily and surely, have them expectant for food then. If you feed them at random times throughout the day, they are much more likely to pine for more food in general, perhaps resulting in greater consumption.
Encourage your dog to eat its meal all at once. This doesn’t mean you should rush them – most hungry pets will just gobble it all up anyway – but having them pick through food throughout the day makes it hard to track. Even if they have eaten a perfectly acceptable amount, they might bother you for a refill if they always expect a trace of food to be in their bowl. This issue boils down to portion control for your pooch.
Cut down on their in-between meals snack intake. There is nothing wrong with the occasional treat for a deed well-done, a reward for a long run, or just to pep your pup up. But when treats – whether dog or human food – become a consistent, considerable part of their diet, this will be reflected in their growing size. Snack selection is crucial as well; aim for leaner, healthier dog bones and snacks rather than one’s filled with fatty cheeses and meats.
Supplement your dog’s smaller portions with fruits and veggies. Eliminating 10-15% of their average meal volume is worth doing for a few weeks. Seek the advice of your local veterinarian for questions and concerns you have. Fresh produce such as carrots, broccoli and spinach can be easily added to a meal to boost its nutritious value. Likewise, apples and bananas are typically favorites among dogs, and great for their health too.
Food is love, but sometimes owners need to explore other avenues to display affection for their animals. Take a concerted eye to their diet, and before you know it, the fat around their stomach will vanish. Check whether they are overweight by feeling around their ribs – there should only be a thin layer of skin and fur in the way.