Dogs are scavengers by nature. They beg, plead and entice their owners into giving them extra food and human scraps. They do this because it is in their nature and because it works. When a dog looks at you with big brown eyes it is pretty hard not resist. But we must. We must because any owner giving dogs extra food, whether it’s just another couple of kibble pieces or a generous helping of bacon and eggs, is leading their pet towards dog obesity and slowly killing it with very misplaced kindness.
A dog that is truly hungry will NOT be overweight. If your dog is overweight or obese and still follows you around hoping for extra food it is not being starved, and it certainly doesn’t need any more food, but it has learnt that this behavior gets him extra helpings.
Some dogs are obsessed by the idea of food and will do anything in their power to get more. This is common in rescue dogs, ones that have been starved or fed the wrong food from a young age as well as retired racing greyhounds that are starved as a matter of course.
The very best way to combat this is to ignore it. A dog that gets food when it begs will continue to do so. A dog that doesn’t will eventually learn that it is a waste of his time.
If you have young children who drop crumbs and you constantly find your dogs around the table looking for dropped sandwiches and biscuits then, to avoid dog obesity, you need to put a stop to it ASAP.
Training a dog to sit in its bed whilst the family is eating is a great way to stop your pet consuming extra calories. Online training videos are also available to watch, or talk to a behaviourist for extra help and advice on avoiding dog obesity.
A dog that is overweight but constantly hungry may also point to another cause. Cheap dog food that is found on every supermarket shelf can theoretically starve your dog regardless of the amount you feed him.
Cheap brands that are full of low-grade ingredients don’t give your dog any of the nutrients he needs, and makes him pile on the fat but leaves him empty of any vitamins.
The first thing to do is to switch from a cheap brand to a high quality one, preferably one that uses human grade ingredients. The difference in price will be astounding at first but feeding your dog on the cheap brand is like you constantly living off digestive biscuits. You get fat but you are always craving something more substantial but you eat it because that’s all you get.
The very best dog food brands include: Canidae, Blue Buffalo, Acana, Holistic Blend and Wellness, although there are hundreds of excellent manufacturers out there who take your dog’s health seriously instead of just focusing on the profit margin.
Researching your dog’s food is something that should not be taken lightly and acquainting yourself with the importance of the presence of some ingredients and the absence of some others is essential if you want to avoid dog obesity and provide your dog with the best lifestyle possible. If you are unsure which one you should be feeding your pet call them up and ask if they will send you some dog food samples. That way your dog can try it without your having to commit to buying a whole bag.
Don’t be fooled by a cheap brand claiming to be a complete dog food. They all claim to be, but after only some minor research you will realize there is a lot more to that statement then meets the eye.
Dog food ratings given by independent sites can help you in determining the quality of the food and talk to people on forums to see what they say. Some people who own dogs with specific needs such as giant or toy breeds or working dogs might find one highly praised food unsuitable for their dog purely because of their own individual needs.
To avoid dog obesity and overweight dogs it is essential that NO extra tidbits are given, especially human food. Those belonging to the older generation, grew up with the thinking that dog’s get fed scraps as a matter of course. This is massively detrimental to your dog’s health and will cause internal and external problems as well as premature death.
Dogs that seem old and tired can be brought back to life by shedding a few pounds. Having their food changed from one that is harmful to a high quality dog food brand that will provide them with everything they need, is the best way to eliminate dog obesity and achieve weight loss in dogs.
If you have drastically cut back on your dog’s food then be prepared for extra begging. Feeding green beans in with his meal will give him extra fiber to help him feel full up but at the end of the day he will know he has lost a significant amount of food and will do anything to get it back.
The most important thing to remember is that he is not hungry. As long as his diet is balanced and you are feeding and exercising him correctly, no matter how much he acts starved, in a few weeks his dog obesity problem will disappear and you will see a whole new dog emerge.
For more information about Dog Food Dangers and Dog Health, check out the highly recommended The Complete Guide To Your Dog’s Nutrition today!