Humans aren’t the only creature that can report remarkable weight-loss stories. A recent article featured in the Huffington Post tells the story of a Dachschund that lost 20 kilograms.
The dog, named Obie, was owned by an elderly couple who couldn’t give him the active lifestyle he needed to stay in shape. Along with overeating, this led Obie to pack on the weight until he reached a whopping 35 kilograms.
At this point, Obie was given to a certified vet technician. This is when his transformation began. Over the next eight months, he would lose roughly 20 kilograms through increased activity and a special diet regime.
Obie’s weight-loss story offers hope and inspiration to owners of overweight dogs. If you have an obese canine, you can implement the same diet principles as Obie’s new owner, and watch the weight melt off within a few months.
Is your dog overweight?
Your dog’s weight problem may not be as obvious as Obie’s. How do you know if your dog is overweight? Peteducation.com outlines a nine-point scoring system that asks the following questions about your dog:
1. Can you feel the dog’s ribs?
2. Can you feel bones at the base of the tail?
3. Can you feel bones beneath the layer of fat on the spine, shoulders, and hips?
4. Looking down from above, does the dog show no waist; or worse, are the hips and ribs narrower than the area between them?
5. Is the chest smaller in diameter than the area behind the ribs?
If you answered no to all these questions after examination, your dog is obese. If you answered yes to three or four, your pet is likely overweight and could benefit from a diet and/or more exercise.
Don’t be discouraged if your dog is obese or overweight. You can help him or her lose weight by implementing the following diet and exercise regimen.
High protein, low calories
Obie’s new owner fed her a dog food that was high in protein and low in calories. The food also contained added fiber.
Protein is good for burning fat because it boosts metabolism, and fewer calories lead to weight loss. Keep in mind that if you have a severely obese dog like Obie, you should work with a veterinarian so the weight loss isn’t too rapid, because this can be dangerous to the dog’s health.
Low-fat and fat-free treats
Activehound.com advocates feeding your dog food, including snacks and treats, that’s low in fat or fat-free. Organic food with fruits and vegetables is typically low in fat, as is venison. It may also be a good idea to cut down on the amount of snacks you give your dog.
Increase exercise slowly
According to PetWave and other pet health sites, many owners make the mistake of putting their overweight dog on an exercise routine that the animal can’t handle. This can be dangerous, so make sure to increase the amount of exercise your dog gets on a gradual basis.
If your dog is as huge as Obie was, the most you should do is three short walks a week. You can gradually increase from there.