Less walking, more weight: Almo Nature vets give advice in keeping your dog fit
The keyword during this tumultuous period is #stayathome. Respecting the restrictions is mandatory in order to get us out of this situation as soon as possible. It’s not just our lives that are upside down, our dogs are also affected by this change: walks are shorter, less numerous and in close range to home.
Could this lifestyle change have an effect on the metabolism of our dog?
The reduction of physical activity reduces energy consumption and therefore reduces the usual need for calories. If you don’t adjust the daily food ration accordingly, it could lead to weight gain.
How to prevent your dog from putting on weight?
Dogs are inquisitive animals with a predatory instinct and an infallible nose for finding food. A perfect combination for organising a treasure hunt in which you hide the bowl and leave traces of scent in various rooms throughout the house.
You could also construct an obstacle course using chairs and sofas to build a type of playground. This is a fun activity that’s stimulating in a physical and a psychological level. You will discover new skills of your dog on a daily basis.
Adjust your dog’s diet
Aim to reduce the ration, but don’t starve your dog, this would only unsettle and agitate them.
How to do it:
Gradually reduce the daily amount of kibble by 10-20%, in 5-6 days to reduce the calorie intake;
Spread the meals out over the day – 3 small meals in the morning, afternoon and evening – this prevents them from feeling hungry;
Take advantage of wet food properties: studies indicate how wet food is a great food product for body weight maintenance. It’s less calorific in comparison to dry food and its sheer volume gives them a ‘full’ feeling. This makes it possible to swap one of the meals with wet food or simply adding 1-2 tablespoons of wet food, depending on the size of the dog, to their reduced ration of kibble.