Always weigh your pet’s food to ensure you are feeding the recommended amount.
Expect your pet to lose no more than 1-2% bodyweight each week.
Divide his/her food into a number of smaller meals: helping to prevent hunger/begging. In doing so energy will be used during the digestion of each meal.
At the start of the new regime taking a ‘before’ photograph can be a very useful marker to monitor and encourage progress.
Table scraps, snacks or treat biscuits should be avoided: these are usually very high in fat. Use a few dry biscuits from the daily food allocation if you really need to use titbits.
Do not leave food lying around.
If possible taking regular walks with your pet should be encouraged. Try including resistance walking (on different surfaces), enhanced walks (using natural obstacles to encourage your dog to jump, walk up/down hills or ditches). Remember the more strenuous the walk the more calories used, helping your dog to become fitter and hopefully lose weight.
This should be encouraged and enjoyed: try playing ‘fetch’ by throwing balls (never use sticks) or hide and seek (hide toys or hide biscuits in special toys).
If you have somewhere that is safe to allow your dog to swim this can be excellent exercise. Always ensure your dog is fully vaccinated if using rivers or lakes due to the risk of Leptosporosis (Weil’s disease).
By constructing your own course in your garden you can provide a good source of exercise and entertainment for your dog.
Dog training classes
This can be fun for both your and your pet. It helps your dog to concentrate and provides a good source of exercise and by meeting and sharing the experience with other pet owners provides encouragement.
Always stay positive
Should you wish to discuss any of these issues in more detail, please consult your veterinary surgeon or nurse.