Here’s some scary diet facts for you:
- Vets believe 52% of dogs are obese (PFMA/London Vet Show)
- Overweight dogs live up to 2.5 years less than healthy ones (University of Liverpool/Mars Petcare – based on a study of over 50,000 dogs)
- 1.6 million dogs (17% of all UK dogs) aren’t walked daily (PAW report 2018 – PDSA)
- 3.4 million dogs (over 35%) are fed treats daily – including crisps, cake, cheese, chips, takeaways (PAW report 2018 – PDSA)
- “The health implications we’re increasingly diagnosing as a result of obesity [in dogs] include diabetes, arthritis, heart disease and certain types of cancer” (The Guardian)
First things first, if you think your dog has a serious weight problem, go and see a vet for an accurate weigh in and advice on exercise, diet and nutrition.
If you think your dog has just had a treat too many over the Christmas period, then try the following:
Simple diet and exercise tips
- FEED YOUR DOG THE RIGHT AMOUNT!
Check with your vet how much your dog should be fed and measure it out.
‘It is estimated … 87% always or often simply estimating the amount of food they think their pet needs at each serving.’ (University of Liverpool/Mars Petcare – based on a study of over 50,000 dogs)
In the past, we’ve bulked out a slightly smaller amount of wet and dry food with Slurps to slightly reduce the overall calorie intake but still maintain food enjoyment!
Slurps is also great added to a dry food diet, especially if your dog isn’t that keen on the dry food.
- DON’T TREAT YOUR DOG EVERY DAY!
They don’t need them and many treats can be unexpectedly calorie laden.
For example, Bonio contains 53% more calories per 100g than a Big Mac and avoid giving them any human food or leftovers.
If you’re really desperate to give your dog something tasty and low calorie, consider pouring some low calorie Slurps in their food bowl between meals. It also contains 0.5g of Omega 3 per portion which can help support healthy skin and a shiny coat
- WALK YOUR DOG AT LEAST 30 MINUTES TWICE A DAY.
It’s good for them and it’s good for us too! Bored dogs are unhappy dogs and a lack of exercise can lead to bad behaviours.
The pdsa has a great ‘wheel’ to show how much exercise different breeds need daily.
- INDOOR EXERCISE!
If it’s really cold and miserable outside, there are some great ideas for indoor exercise from Cesar Milan – from playing hide and seek to making them work for their food to signing up for agility or flyball classes. Some people even suggest running up and down stairs with your dog!
- REMEMBER TO KEEP HYDRATED.
Vets recommend 50ml per kg bodyweight daily for an averagely active dog. = 500ml for a small 10kg dog,
= 1 litre for a medium 20 kg dog
= 2 litres for a large 40kg dog.
If your dog isn’t drinking enough water, try offering Slurps. In tests, 95% of dogs lapped up Slurps whilst ignoring their bowls of water