If you are a regular reader of my blog you will know that for a while now we were trying to get on top of our Lilly’s weight problems. I am pleased to report that yet again we have a happy healthy dog, just look at her 🙂
Pet weight management is complex and at times not so easy task. Very often we think we are doing the right thing when in reality we are “killing” our pets with kindness. Pet obesity is a serious problem which I have featured on Bark Time many times before as I think it is important to talk about it and share any new learnt knowledge.
Today I would love to share with you our top tip which helped us get Lilly back to her perfect weight – eat less and exercise more – it is simple as that!
Pet food is the most important element in correct weight management. Same like with us, humans, if we eat unhealthy, too much or simply have an unbalanced diet we will never be the picture of health. There is a lot of different types of pet foods on the market, it is important to pick the correct type which will suit your dog perfectly. This isn’t always easy that’s why it might be necessary to seek more professional help when it comes to picking the right food.
Type of the food is one thing, the amount which we are supposed to feed is a totally different problem all together. If you feed just dry kibble, you are in the clear and can use any suggested guidelines on the packet but if you are adding anything else and most pet owners I know do, you have to reduce the basic kibble intake in order to make room for everything else (you can check this post and study my calculations when I was calculating a new amount of dry kibbles for Bunk) Never guess how much food your dog should eat; read, learn and measure it; then stick to it… and don’t be adding just a few more kibbles today because you think she or he is hungry.
So far we covered type and amount of food, but what about treats?
Well they also have to be taken into consideration when calculating the daily food allowance. Treats can be an extremely helpful tool when it comes to training but they should be treated as treats… just like sweets and kids… everything in moderation. To reduce calorie intake and still keep rewarding your dog, try natural treats – fruit and veggies – they really make for a great treat which your dog will enjoy.
As much as the correct diet is needed in proper weight management, it will not work on its own, it has to be accompanied by an exercise plan. This part shouldn’t be difficult as most dogs love activities. Being active is in a dog nature, so as long as we increase the intensity or time of the exercise we should see results fairly soon.
It is important to do what your dog loves to do and is able to do… let’s take our Lilly for example… she isn’t a young dog anymore; she is most likely over 9 years old and our original exercise plan was time based. As she loves playing fetch we would normally play for around 15min or so. As we have had to increase the time of our exercises (due to her age it was not advised to increase the intensity), so now we would stay on the field and play for 25 minutes at the time… this time does include breaks for her, so don’t panic. Before our “play” time we would allow her to walk and run around as she wants so she can warm up her muscles and the same again after the play so she can cool down before the car ride home… I guess just like we would do before and after any kind of work out session.
During our stay in Europe we were taking the dogs swimming, they both enjoy it very much and swimming is much kinder for their joints than running on land so if you have a pond nearby you might want to consider some water activities for your dog.
So this is it – no real magic tips more just plain old common sense really and a lot of self-discipline so we can actually stick to the rules we put in place in order to have a happy healthy dog.
Hill’s Pet Nutrition is dedicated to helping pets reach their full potential through quality nutrition and healthcare. They have also agreed to sponsor a giveaway for my readers. I have five bespoke pet food bungles to give away to five of you – they can be for both cats and dogs and will be picked to suit your pet needs.
To enter the giveaway and be in with a chance of winning one of five bespoke bundles of Hill’s Ideal Balance or Science Plan pet food tailored to the nutritional needs of your pet simply complete the Gleam application below.
Hill’s Science Plan Competition Terms and Conditions:
1. Promoter: Pet Nutrition Ltd, Building 5, Croxley Green Business Park, Watford, WD18 8YL. 2. This competition is open for entry to residents of England, NI, Scotland, Wales and RoI over 16 years, excluding employees of the Promoter, their immediate families, agents, or anyone else professionally connected with the competition. 3. Promotion Period: Enter between 29/06/2015 and 19/07/2015 23.59 All entries received after this date will be deemed invalid. 4. To enter: Entrants must respond with the answer by submitting their entry via the competition app 5. Entries are limited as stated in Gleam app. 6. The Prize: Five winners selected at random by Hill’s will each receive a pet food package from one of the following ranges only to the value of £15. If the chosen item(s) is not available a suitable alternative will be offered. a. Ideal balance b. Science Plan 7. Winner Selection: All valid entries received by the end of the Promotion Period will be reviewed by the Promoter and will be supervised by an independent person. The five winning entries will be selected at random. 8. Winner Notification: The Winner will be contacted via email within 7 days. They will be asked to confirm details of their pet: (dog/cat; age; breed, wet/dry food preference; medical needs) 9. If a winner is not contactable or fails to respond within 7 days of the notification, the prize may be reallocated by the Promoter to a reserve winner selected in the same manner. 10. The prize will be delivered within 28 days to the winner once they provide the requested contact details 11. The winners will be required to participate in relevant publicity associated with the competition. 12. By entering the competition, entrants will be deemed to have accepted and be bound by these terms and conditions. All entry instructions form part of these terms and conditions. 13. The name and county of the winner can be obtained by sending a self-addressed stamped envelope to: Customer Services, Hill’s Pet Nutrition Ltd, Building 5, Croxley Green Business Park, Watford, WD18 8YL. 14. Data Protection: Personal data provided will be used for the purpose of the competition and in accordance with these terms and conditions by the Promoter. 15. The information you provide will only be used by Hills Pet Nutrition Limited solely for the purposes noted in the terms and conditions above. 16. Bulk entries made from trade, consumer groups or third parties will not be accepted. Incomplete or illegible entries and entries which do not satisfy the requirements of these terms and conditions in full will be disqualified and will not be counted. If it becomes apparent that an entrant is using a computer(s) to circumvent this condition by, for example, the use of ‘script’, ‘brute force’, masking their identity by manipulating IP addresses, using identities other than their own or any other automated means in order to increase their entries into the competition in a way that is not consistent with the spirit of the competition, that person’s entries will be disqualified and any prize awarded will be void. 17. The Promoter may require the winner to provide proof of identity and age. Identification considered suitable for verification is at the Promoter’s discretion. 18. The Promoter is not responsible for any late, misdirected or incomplete entries, or effects of hackers, failure of any electronic equipment, computer transmissions and/or network connections, nor are they responsible for any inaccuracies in information or any technical or human error which may occur in processing the entries. Proof of submitting an entry is not proof of receipt by the Promoter. 19. The Promoter, and any affiliated companies are not responsible for any errors that are beyond the control of the Promoter. In the event the competition is compromised by any cause beyond the control of the Promoter (including, but not limited to, hackers and viruses) which, in the sole opinion of the Promoter, corrupts, or impairs the administration, security or fairness of the competition, the Promoter reserves the right, at its sole discretion, to modify, suspend or terminate all or part of the competition. 20. The Promoter and any affiliated companies are not responsible for any entry, generated by computer hardware or software, malfunction, error or failure. Persons found tampering with or abusing any aspect of this competition, as solely determined by the Promoter, will be disqualified. 21. The Promoter cannot accept any responsibility for any damage, loss, liabilities, injury, costs, expenses or claims suffered by entrants as a result of entering the competition or of accepting the prize. 22. The prize is non-transferable and there is no cash alternative. 23. The Promoter cannot be held responsible if, for circumstances beyond its reasonable control, the stated prize is no longer available. The Promoter reserves the right to award a prize of equivalent value. 24. The decision of the Promoter shall be final and binding and no correspondence will be entered into. 25. If you have any queries regarding the competition or experience any problems, please message the promoter on Hill’s Pet Nutrition Facebook page, or Hill’s Pet UK & IE Twitter page between 9-5 Monday through to Friday.
The competition is governed by English Law and entrants submit to the exclusive jurisdiction of the English courts.