Reducing Pooch Pudge: How To Help Your Dog Eliminate The Pounds After Holiday Snacking

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Reducing Pooch Pudge: How To Help Your Dog Eliminate The Pounds After Holiday Snacking

23 November 2015
 Categories: , Blog

'Tis the season -- and with the holidays approaching, goodies and treats of all kinds will be available. These aren't always just for humans; pets also partake in foods they might not ordinarily indulge in. But extra treats can also bring extra weight, and for your dog, that additional fat can be damaging in the long term.

One study done on healthy dogs found that they added an average of 0.3 pounds over one holiday season. That's the equivalent of an extra 1 to 2 pounds on you, and that's also pretty average for human weight gain from the period between Thanksgiving and New Year's. 

The problem comes when you can't get that extra weight off, and comes in the form of hypertension, diabetes, arthritis, and other unpleasant illnesses. So to keep your pet as healthy as can be, here are three ways to get extra weight off your pet:

1. Determine the right amount of food for your dog, and make sure that's what you feed.

It's easy to fall into the trap of eyeballing how much to give your dog, or to feed more than is necessary. And dog food manufacturers aren't very helpful -- instructions on a bag of kibble can range a great deal. 

You can use an online tool to calculate how much you should be feeding based on your pup's ideal weight. Then, measure that amount out and stick to only that amount of food. 

It's easy to overdo it on the treats, too, so limit yourself to two small snacks per dog per day. If your pooch is dramatically overweight, look at reduced-calorie treats.

2. Avoid people food. 

It's likely human holiday food that got your dog into this problem in the first place, so eliminate the source of human treats by not giving in. Even if your pet is used to getting scraps from the table, it's time to cut back.

Many kinds of human food are even harmful to pets. You probably know that chocolate is bad for dogs, but did you know that milk, cheese, nuts, onions and garlic and even grapes can be toxic? By not feeding your food to your pet, you avoid the risk of potential poisoning.

3. Get out and about.

The holiday season coincides with the coldest weather of the year in most of the U.S., so you probably don't go for as many or as long of walks as you do during the summer. 

Find other ways to keep your pet active. These can include playing ball in the house (if your dog is not too large) or in a garage or carport. You can take your dog to the park even in cold weather by investing in warmer clothes for you and a dog sweater for your pup.

If you have questions about the best diet or right amount of food to give your dog, talk to your veterinarian or the staff at your local animal hospital. To find out more, speak with a business like South Hills Animal Hospital.