Excessive weight gain is a common issue in dogs and can often lead to a number of other health issues later in life. Managing your puppy’s weight from an early age is key to reducing the risk of obesity while maintaining their long-term quality of life.
This article explains what to do and what not to do when it comes to keeping your playful puppy fit and active.
Weight management: what not to do
Don’t keep changing your puppy’s food.
Your puppy doesn’t need a varied diet like humans generally prefer. If possible, stick to a single, nutritionally balanced diet that supports their unique health needs.
Don’t feed your puppy scraps from the table.
Giving your puppy food from your plate at mealtimes may feel natural, but it can contribute to an unbalanced nutritional intake and can also encourage unwanted begging behaviour.
Don’t bribe your puppy with treats.
If your puppy doesn’t want to eat its main meal, using treats as a bribe is often counterproductive as they may continue refusing kibble in favour of treats.
Don’t overfeed your puppy.
Depending on your puppy’s age, its appetite will vary. Though it’s tempting to refill your puppy’s bowl once they’ve finished their food, we strongly recommended sticking to their daily allowance.
Weight management: what to do
Do choose a nutritionally balanced diet.
Give your puppy a complete and balanced diet that contains the ideal level of nutrients to help them grow without putting on excess weight.
Do stick to a set feeding routine.
If possible, try to feed your puppy at the same time each day and in the same place. Consistency promotes digestive health and helps puppies to understand mealtimes and regulate their eating habits.
Do let your puppy play and explore.
Allow your puppy to explore so they can get used to their environment. This will give them the confidence they need to play and expend energy. When old enough, regular walks are also vitally important.
Do weigh your puppy regularly.
Keep an eye on your puppy’s weight and adjust food portions according to the on-pack instructions. Note that small breeds tend to grow more rapidly than larger breeds, so frequent portion adjustment may be required.
Do give your puppy toys to play with.
Toys help encourage active behaviour in your dog. Choose fun toys that are bigger than your puppy’s mouth to prevent choking.
Get your puppy off to the best start
Although it can be difficult to stick to these recommendations, getting your puppy off to the best possible start can help them avoid health problems later in life.
Remember, a healthy weight starts with healthy habits, so keep an eye on your puppy’s activity levels and always monitor their food intake.
If you have any questions or concerns about your puppy’s weight, please speak to a vet.FIND OUT MORE