Dogs are our best friends, and they love us unconditionally. How do we show our appreciation? By feeding them. A lot.
That’s why more than half of U.S. dogs are overweight or obese, and a couple of extra pounds can shorten their life span by two years.
But now, it’s time to give your pup a diet and exercise regimen that will help her stay fit and healthy. So here are seven fun and easy ways you and your dog can lose weight together.
1. Make a plan
Dogs are the most faithful of all friends, and when it comes to weight loss, they can be great motivators as you are trying to get the pounds off.
Dogs love to run, swim and play fetch, and all of these activities are a lot of fun for both you and your pup. You don’t have to spend a lot of money on fancy equipment to get started on your weight loss program even better.
All you need is a healthy dog, a few basic pieces of dog weight loss equipment, and a little bit of imagination.
2. Play a tag
The dog is man’s best friend, and few owners would deny that their pet is just as beloved as any human family member.
And while pet obesity has hit epidemic levels, it’s important to remember that dogs should be treated as pets first and foremost.
So while you may need to encourage your dog to get more exercise, you should never feel guilty about letting your pup have a little fun.
There are many different games you can play with your dog to help it lose weight. One popular game is “Tag.” This game is simple to play and enjoyable for dogs of all ages and sizes.
To play, stand in one spot and ask your dog, “Where’s the treat?”. When he looks at you, move towards him to get his attention.
When he takes a few steps toward you or looks at you again, say, “Tag! You’re it!”. When your dog is looking at you, move away from him again.
Repeat this process until one of two things happens: your dog catches you or runs out of energy. When your dog catches you, stop playing and give him a treat.
3. Save the treat for a good job.
Have you ever tried rewarding your dog with a treat every time it does something good? While this might seem like a good idea, you should not overuse this kind of training method.
If you give your dog a treat every time it does something, it will learn that it can expect a treat for doing something.
Eventually, you will have a dog that will always expect treats and always tries to do something good to get one. This will make it difficult for you to train your dog because all it will want to do is get a treat.
4. Motivate your dog
Think about it: he’s always happy to see you, won’t judge you for eating an entire sleeve of Oreos, and will always love you no matter what.
All you have to do is reward him with a walk, and he’s your new best friend. Now, what if we told you that you could use your dog to lose weight? It’s not as crazy as it sounds — in fact, it’s all based on positive reinforcement.
Having a weight-loss goal is an incredible motivator for anyone. Whether you’re trying to lose a few pounds or just a few hundred, putting a goal in writing is a great way to make sure you take the right steps to achieve them.
But what about your dog? Having a goal might not be the best idea for him; he’s not exactly going to understand why he needs to be on a diet.
The only thing dogs care about is food, so asking them to have a goal would probably make them want more of it! If you want to motivate your dog to lose weight, you should focus on the process rather than the end goal.
5. Be creative
If you have a dog, you probably know that they are quite different from other pets. One of the biggest differences between dogs and other pets is that dogs are much more likely to exercise on their own if they have space, the freedom, and, most importantly, the motivation to do so.
Some wonderful benefits come with having a pet that is always ready and willing to get out and play; the more you and your dog exercise together, the healthier you both will be.
6. Make portions
We love our dogs, but we hate to watch them get fat. And when their chins are almost touching the ground, it’s hard to love them at all.
So we figured we’d look for some fun ways for Fido and us to burn some calories. The best thing about the following seven ways to burn off a few pounds is that you’ll be having fun with your dog the whole time.
Feeding your dog from the table was your parents’ way—not yours. Dog treats are a great way to train your dog, but the portions should be small.
They have no nutritional value, but they can be a convenient way to train. It is best to use smaller dog bowls as not to encourage overeating.
You can also use dog plates. Plates are generally available in small, medium, and large sizes and are made to fit a dog’s mouth. They are made of durable plastic that is safe for your dog.
7. Play Frisbee with your dog
You and your dog can have a lot of fun playing frisbee. If you have a backyard, you can practice throwing over and over again.
If not, you can go to a park or open field. The only thing that can make this game better is a partner, so get your friends and dog involved.
There’s a reason why dogs run off with a frisbee in their mouth: this toy is a whole lot of fun, and it’s good for them, too! Frisbee flying helps your dog get exercise, and it helps you bond with your dog.
There are several basic throws that you can learn, and once you have the basic skills nailed down, the two of you will have a blast trying out all sorts of fun tricks together.
Your dog can’t tell you to get moving and stop eating junk food, so how can you make your pup healthier? By doing it yourself! Small lifestyle changes and even your dog’s food can help your pet shed pounds and stay healthy and happy.
Dogs can get fat just like us, and for the same reasons, too: too much food, not enough exercise. But unlike us, dogs don’t have a good sense of when they’re full—their bellies stretch to accommodate more food as they continue to gorge. It’s up to us to teach them to stop eating when they are full.
You and your dog can lose weight! It’s a fact that dogs get fat too. Even if you exercise regularly, your dog can still get fat.
A recent study by the American Animal Hospital Association showed that almost half of all dogs and cats in the U.S. are overweight or obese.
When Should You Start Your Dog On A Weight Loss Program?
That depends. If your vet has just recommended a weight loss program for your dog, you should probably start working with your vet to put together a safe diet and exercise plan.
While there are some situations in which you can try to lose weight on your own, that’s not usually the best choice. If your dog is overweight, it’s not a good idea to just cut back on food, wear her out with intense exercise and then expect her to start losing weight.
These days, there are several reasons that your canine companion may be overweight. Perhaps you’re feeding him a lot of treats, or he’s getting too many leftovers from your dinner.
Maybe you’re overfeeding him his regular kibble, or he’s eating the same food every day. No matter the reason, the good news is that you can do things to help your dog lose weight.
If you’re having a hard time finding safe, fun ways for you and your dog to burn calories, this is the blog for you. We have a great list of 7 Fun Ways You & Your Dog Can Lose Weight.
You’ll find everything from ways to have fun in the park to ways to challenge your dog mentally. So, get ready to rack up some serious mileage with your dog with these easy, fun ways!