Caitlin UltimoNutrition / Pet Diet Tips

This Not That: 5 Simple Swaps to Help Your Dog Lose Weight

After a month (or potentially longer) of indulging their every culinary desire, most people look at January as a time to pump the breaks and, potentially, lose just a little bit of that holiday weight.

Unfortunately the same can probably be said of our furry friends and overweight dogs, as well.

While you hopefully weren’t too carefree with what you fed your pet during the holidays, chances are you may have given her an extra treat or two (or 20), and all those walks you used to take may have fallen by the wayside in favor of warmer, indoor activities.

If that’s the case, fear not—helping your overweight dog doesn’t have to be difficult. Here are just a couple of small changes you can make to your everyday routine that will likely help your pup with his dog weight loss New Year’s resolution.

1. Choose Healthier Biscuits: Instead of giving hearty dog biscuits, treat your dog to a healthier, low-calorie option, like Old Mother Hubbard Mother’s Solutions’ Low Fat Baked Dog Treats. Your overweight dog seriously won’t know the difference, and you’ll feel better for it helping him with his dog weight loss goals.

2. Play a Quick Game of Fetch Instead of Cuddling on the Couch: If the weather in your area has turned chilly, it’s probably way nicer to cuddle on the couch with your pooch than to head outdoors, but even just a couple minutes of exercise a day can make a big difference in your dog’s health. Make it a goal to swap out 10 minutes of indoor chill time for 10 minutes of fetch in the backyard, and before long you’ll start to notice a difference in your overweight dog. Pick up the Chuckit! Kick Fetch Ball if you’re in need of a new toy to toss around.

3. Dole Out Carefully Calculated Meals Instead of Free-for-Alls: Make it a New Year’s resolution to use portion control when it comes to your dog’s food. If you haven’t already, talk to your vet about how much your dog should be getting every day based on her breed and weight, then stick to it. Taste of the Wild Pacific Stream Dry Dog Food is popular among dog owners, but chat with your vet if you’re not sure what brand is best for your pooch.

4. Offer Limited Treats Instead of a Plethora: It would be no fun to cut your dog off completely from treats while you’re trying to get her dog weight l loss plan back on track, but it is important to make sure you aren’t treating her too often. Keep a little notebook by your dog treats so you can make a note of each time you give your pup one; this way you’ll be less likely to give her too many in one day. Try Blue Buffalo Health Bars Baked with Bacon, Egg & Cheese Dog Treats for an option that’s full of omega-3 and antioxidants.

5. Try Group Fitness Outings Instead of Solo Ones: Getting social with your dog is a great way to keep you both on track to reach your fitness goals. Consider joining a running group and bring your pup along. Make it a goal to hit up the dog park at least two times a week or go in on a workout plan with a friend that can include your overweight dog. Having someone there to keep you honest with your activities will help you stick with them.

While it might seem grueling to come up with a plan to help your pup with his dog weight loss, it doesn’t have to be. Start by always remembering your end goal—your pet’s best health—and create goals that are reachable and fun. The rest is a piece of cake.

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