If you own a smaller breed of dog, you know how much fun looking after your pet can be. Small breeds are often full of energy and love to play, and they can be fantastic additions to a family with children who will give them the attention they need. However, all of that can begin to decline if your dog develops a weight problem.
It is surprisingly easy for smaller dogs to become obese, and it is quite a large problem. Your dog’s smaller frame is not designed to carry too much weight, and obesity can lead to joint problems, dysplasia and arthritis. In addition, it can cause your dog to become fatigued easily, taking away a lot of the enjoyment of play time.
It is a shame to see energetic dogs robbed of their ability to play as much as they would like to due to obesity. As such, it is important that you make sure your dog is an appropriate weight. This can be surprisingly difficult for smaller dogs, especially those with thick coats that can obscure their true size.
A good way to check whether or not your dog is too fat is to run your hand up their belly, against the direction of their fur. You should be able to feel your dog’s ribs. If you cannot, that is a sign that your dog is carrying too much fat.
If your dog has gained weight, one of the first things you need to tackle is its diet. One of the reasons why small breeds are susceptible to obesity is that most generic dog food and portion sizes are made for larger animals, and can contain too many calories for your pet.
You should switch to food for small breeds immediately. Royal Canin dog food is specially formulated for specific breeds, so you can ensure your dog gets the exact nutrition that they need. However, this switch can be difficult for your dog, who may feel hungry.
To help your dog lose weight quickly without too much hunger, consider switching to a light kibble such as that made by James Wellbeloved dog food. This contains enough dietary fibre to make your dog feel full sooner, which will help you cut your pet’s diet down.
Written by: Hannah Dyball