Preventing Canine Obesity: How to Keep Your Dog Healthy and Fit - The Trupanion Blog
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Preventing Canine Obesity: How to Keep Your Dog Healthy and Fit

Photo credit Sam Mugraby,
Photo credit Sam Mugraby,

Obesity poses a serious health problem for dogs. Responsible pet owners must take steps in order to keep their dog’s weight at a healthy level. Just as it is easier for a human to maintain a healthy weight than it is to shed excessive weight, it is easier to prevent a dog from becoming overweight than it is subject them to the restrictive diet and strenuous exercise required to help the dog get back down to a healthy weight.

In order to successfully manage the dog’s weight, a dog owner will have to do two things. First, they will have to guarantee their dog gets sufficient exercise. Next they will have to factor in their dog’s overall activity, age, breed, and metabolic speed when selecting a food that will provide the appropriate amount of calories.

Exercise Your Dog Regularly

Exercise is the primary way dogs burn calories, so it serves as the primary mechanism to help keep their weight under control. Improved respiratory strength, oxidization of tissues, and toned muscles are added benefits that come from exercising your dog regularly.

Getting the Right Type of Dog Food

There are two factors that will determine what type of food is right for your dog. The first is going to be the age of your dog. The younger your dog is, the more energy it is going to expend, and therefore, it will need food rich in proteins and minerals. Active dogs use more energy and will need a higher calorie dog food. The same is true for female dogs that are nursing or pregnant.

Older dogs, even if they are extremely active, will need fewer calories per day than when they were younger. Dog owners can monitor the amount of food their dog eats by simply controlling when dog food is available. Instead of leaving a bowl out at all times of the day, a conscientious dog owner may select certain times of the day to leave pre-measured amounts of food out for their dog. In a home where there are multiple animals, the pet owner will have to be diligent in order to ensure that their dog is only eating the food that is right for them.

Regardless of their age and activity level, all dogs will benefit from eating fresh, natural dog food. Dog food made with high quality ingredients and void of any chemicals are best for helping a dog avoid obesity and maintain overall good health.

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