Today we continue with our series of reader questions for Dr. Tiffany Bierer:
What is the best way to help your dog lose a few pounds? I know about limiting treats and exercise. What else should I be doing to help?
Dr. Bierer: That is a great question! The key to making sure you keep your dog at a healthy weight is to feed them the right amount of food. Feeding guidelines on the dog food label will give you an estimate of how much food you should be feeding your dog daily but you have to take into account that a dog’s individual needs may vary. So monitor your dog’s weight and body condition. Your veterinarian can help you do this.
When you run your hands across your dog’s back and ribs, you should be able to feel the spine and ribs with a small amount of pressure. If they are very prominent, your dog may be too thin. If you can’t feel them easily, your dog may be too heavy. Adjust the amount of food you feed to keep your dog at the proper body condition.
If your dog does need to lose weight, talk to your Veterinarian about the right diet. There are diets made specifically for weight loss that provide higher levels of nutrients with less calories to make sure your dog still gets the essential nutrients they need. Doing weight loss the right way will help get them in shape and keep them healthy!
Dr. Tiffany Bierer is the health and nutrition sciences manager for Mars Petcare US, makers of PEDIGREE® Food for Dogs, CESAR® Brand, WHISKAS® Food for Cats, THE GOODLIFE RECIPE® Brand, TEMPTATIONS® Treats for Cats and CRAVE® Treats for Cats.