Winter is coming, and as the cold weather approaches, fewer and fewer owners will be braving the outdoors to keep their furry friends active throughout these coming cold months; resulting in a more sedentary lifestyle, leading to our little ones to gain extra pounds.
Almost thirty-five per cent of dogs in the UK are estimated to be overweight or obese. This is an enormous health issue because it goes hand by hand with many other illnesses like Arthritis, Joint problems, Diabetes, Heart problems, Knee injuries, Pancreatic issues, Liver disease, trouble Cooling off, Snoring, and Cancer.
The good news about this is that a small amount of weight loss can improve our pet's health condition and extend their life span or at least make their quality of life much better.
So, if your pet looks a bit round or chunky, maybe it's the right time to do something about it; we'll give you three helpful tips to start.
First thing first, Talk to your vet: Ask why your dog is overweight. It could be an underlying medical condition.
1- Don't give them too much human food.
Some human foods are high in fat, sugar, and sodium, and they have to avoid them.
Picture this; you finished your breakfast, and they have been patiently waiting for that last piece of bread, toast or whatever they manage to get their hungry paws on. Honestly, how could you deny that tiny bit of simple pleasure from our loved little ones? So, instead of giving them your food which is only really going to harm them in the long term, how about having a small piece of cooked chicken or a slice of dried banana to give them? They love these treats, and you will make them healthier and happier.
Once a week, indulging kind of breakfast!
2- Make peanut or Almond butter (for them) at home!
We love our dogs, and sometimes, even we overindulge them. Thinking ' *one* treat won't do any harm' and that's true, but sometimes that 'one' turns to two and so on... then, all of a sudden they're all gone! So, if you've got some spare time, or just want to try out a healthy treat alternative; Here is our great recipe to indulge yourself and your pooch.
With these amounts, you will make around 1 cup of peanut/almond butter.
1 1/2 cup Peanuts or almonds unsalted, roasted, in your oven for 7 min
1 tsp. Honey (optional)
1 tbsp. Chia seeds
1 tsp. or more, Coconut oil or coconut butter, this will give it the consistency you'll want.
Directions: 1. Place peanuts, chia seeds and the coconut oil/butter into a food processor or high-speed blender. 2. Process, adding the coconut butter/oil little by little, this will help emulsify it and therefore 'thicken' it, and stop when you got the desired consistency. (5-7 minutes is around the time it will take for the peanuts to turn to break down, turning into butter)
3. For the those who like their peanut butter crunchy, just add 1/4 cup or so of toasted peanuts to your finished butter. Finally, keep in your fridge in a glass jar or airtight container and enjoy!
Remember to keep in mind that a thinner butter is easier to lick for your dog!
Top Tip: I like to use this butter when tyring to bath my two Great Pyrenees. Just lather a fair amount of peanut butter on top of a licky mat on one side of your bathtub and your pooch will be delighted to lick it while you brush their dirty paws!
3- Dogs are Meat eaters, Feed your overweight dog more protein and fewer carbohydrates.
If you manage to have a look at the enormous 4th upper premolar in your dog's mouth (the 'Carnassial tooth'), you'll realise that that tooth, is there specifically for slicing and chopping meat and bone.
Why not try helping your dog by giving them fewer dry pellets and more raw food? A balance of pellets and raw foods can help keep your dogs healthy and lean.
Understandably, it is not the easiest thing to do. You need more time and usually more money, but this does not have to be the case.
Browse around the reduced price supermarket aisle or ask a local butcher if they have any cheap leftover cuts of meat, many sell at an excellent price. If possible ask them for lean meat and try to avoid Beef and Duck as they tend to be fattier.
A good start would be 60% of your usual pellets and the remaining 40% mix lean fresh chicken, turkey or even fish; Mainly if you live in a coastal area. Don't forget to add raw or steamed veggies like carrots, squash, broccoli, or spinach and even some blueberries rich in antioxidants, fibres and vitamins.
Don't forget that your dog can eat, full rich in fibre and protein beans, but that shouldn't exceed more than 10 per cent of their daily calorie intake. Since beans can be high in calories,
Top Tip: Make your treats; In the oven, cook some lean chicken or turkey, or on a low heat dehydrate sliced bananas, apples, carrots, sweet potatoes or squash. Your buddies will love these treats, and you'll see the difference in their weight and better health.