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There’s a good chance you’re feeding your dog too much

 by james on 18 Aug 2022 |
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Nearly half of domestic dogs are overweight, increasing risk of health problems. Here are a few questions to help you asses Fido’s portions.

There’s a good chance you’re feeding your dog too much

We all love to spoil our pets and when it comes to our canine companions, few things show affection like a tasty treat. While offering Fido plenty of nutritious food is key to maintaining his health, nearly half of domestic dogs are overweight, which can limited mobility and increase health risks. Here are a few questions to help you understand how much your dog really needs to eat based on his size, age, and other factors:

1. How old is your dog? When determining how often you need to feed your pet, there are some general rules of thumb. Puppies ages 8 to 12 week should be fed four times a day to meet their metabolic and growth needs. Up to 6 months old, puppies should eat three meals a day, and older pets should eat twice daily. Keep an eye on treats between meals, as these calories can add up, too.
2.  What breed and size is your pet? Different breeds of dogs have different energy levels and nutritional needs, so be sure to consider your companion’s genetics and build when choosing a food and portions for your pet. While basic nutritional needs do not vary vastly across breeds, certain nutrients are more important for some breeds than others. For example, small breeds have faster metabolisms, and so generally require diets higher in fats than their large-breed peers. Big breeds tend to experience increased musculoskeletal problems, so look for diets or supplements that support joint health. 
3. How active is he? Just like humans, our pets’ level of physical activity varies across individuals and throughout each dog’s life. Pets with rigorous exercise and play routines will need many more calories than their less-active peers, so adjust your dog’s food accordingly. Do this throughout the course of his life, too, to ensure he is receiving the right number of calories for his lifestyle.

After carefully considering your pet’s individual needs, you can work towards adjusting his diet for optimal health. As a rule of thumb, dogs that are a healthy weight will have an “hourglass” figure when viewed from above, with a stomach is slightly narrower than the chest and hips. When viewed from the side, your pet’s chest should be slightly closer to the ground than his belly. Your pet’s ribs should not be visible, but they should be easy to feel with light pressure when running your hands across his side. Overweight pets do not need to go on a strict starvation diet, but you can help your companion achieve his optimal health by slowly adjusting his portions, which can reduce risk of problems such as arthritis and heart failure. Consider helping a low-activity pet engage in more playtime and physical exercise, too, which benefits him physically while nurturing the bond you share with your pet.


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