The Pumpkin Diet for Overweight Dogs
Putting Your Dog on a Diet
Keeping your dog’s weight down can be a real challenge. A dog needs a lot of exercise and most dog breeds just don’t know when to stop eating. It is important that you keep your dog at a desirable weight, because obesity can affect a dog’s health just like ours. Your dog will be more likely to develop heart disease, arthritis, or become diabetic. If he is a breed that is prone to hip problems, he'll be more likely to get them.
Don’t follow the recommendations on the bag of dog food. They usually recommend more food than your pet really needs. The guidelines that you find online may be way more food than your dogs need also. We have a Brittany and it is recommended that he gets 2 cups of dog food a day. For him that is too much and he put on a lot of weight.These dogs are hunting dogs that are bred to hunt as many as 8 hours a day. Our dog isn't getting that kind of exercise. For another dog, the 2 cups might be the right recommendation. Only you know your dog. If he appears to be putting on weight, he may need a diet.
If you know your dog needs to lose weight, slowly cut the food quantity down. Don’t do it suddenly or your dog may pick-up some scavenging habits that he did not have before.
There are dog foods available that are specially formulated for dogs that need to lose weight. Try one of these. They have less calories than the regular dog foods.
If you have an appointment with the vet for shots or something else, ask for his/her advice. Find out how much weight the dog needs to lose and make it your goal to get your dog to a healthy weight. He may have some suggestions that you haven’t thought about.
A pumpkin diet may work for your pet. You still need to feed the dog its regular dog food, but replace part of the food with canned pumpkin. It is important not to use the pumpkin pie mix, because it contains spices that your dog may not be able to tolerate. Start slowly with just a tablespoon of pumpkin for starts. Add larger amounts as time goes on until you are replacing it so the amount is about half of the pets food. This technique is often used by owners of show dogs.
Many pet treats are high in carbohydrates. You want to stay away from these. Instead, give your dog pieces of fruit and vegetables as a treat. Excellent treats are apples and oranges, green beans, carrots, and other raw vegetables. Some dogs just won’t eat fruits and vegetables and others love them. Start slowly with these treats and make sure that the dog is tolerating them with no stool problems.
When trying new foods with your dog, always start slowly. Even trying new dog food can cause a case of diarrhea. Don’t overdo the diet. You don’t want an underweight animal either. Just a few pounds can make a difference since an animal’s weight is so much lower than ours.
Be sure that the pet gets enough exercise. A favorite saying is "If your dog is fat, you aren't getting enough exercise."
Reference: Making Sense With Jo Beth Bridleman
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