This post is sponsored by Hill’s. We are being compensated for helping spread the word about Hill’s® Science Diet® Perfect Weight 10 Week Turnaround, but MyDogLikes only shares information we feel is relevant to our readers. Hill’s Pet Nutrition, Inc. is not responsible for the content of this article.
Last month, we shared the importance of finding your dog’s perfect weight. Pet obesity is no small problem and more than 50% of pets are considered overweight. Its easy to think that a few extra pounds won’t make a huge difference, but even a few extra pounds can negatively impact the quality and duration of your best friends life.
Standing several inches taller than his breed standard (and brother); at 90-95lb Harley has always been a big boy. Despite falling at a healthy weight for his stature, we, along with his vet decided that as a senior citizen, his weight, mobility, and overall health would improve if he lost a few pounds.
Getting to the #perfect weight!
If your dog is overweight, it’s going to be OK. Getting your dog to his/her perfect weight is within your control and the emotional and physical benefits are often seen right away. As an added bonus, you may even start to see some improvements in your own health and well-being! In fact a 12-month study conducted by Hills Pet and the Wellness Institute of Northwestern Memorial Hospital found that dogs serve as a valuable social support for owners in weight loss/ management!
Establishing a Healthy Routine
One of the most important things that you can do to get your dog on track with his weight loss goals is to establish a routine. We know how busy things can get and the old adage “if you fail to plan, plan to fail” certainly rings true for busy pet parents!
So what makes up a healthy routine?
There are countless ways to get your dog the exercise he/she needs.
- Daily walks and off leash playtime is a must for us. Before I get comfortable and take my shoes off after work, I grab the leashes. Once the boys see the leash in my hand I am on the hook for a walk!
- On the weekends we like to plan a longer activity like going for a hike, attending a pet friendly festival/event, or spending time at a local park.
- No time to fit in a long workout in for you AND Fido? Try some of these fun exercises you can do with your pet!
- Short on space? Borrow some from a local organization! Charlie participates in agility class at our local humane society. When class is over Charlie is completely exhausted!.
- It’s important to remember its not just the time your dog spends outside, but how he/she spends it. Hills offers some creative ways to exercise with a large dog or cat. Consider adding some high intensity fun and get that heart rate up!
One of the best things you can do for your pet’s health is feed proper nutrition every day. Diets like Hill’s® Science Diet® Perfect Weight are specially formulated to help you manage your pets weight while offering 100% balanced nutrition. This is a great option for pets who require fewer calories due to lower activity, age, or being prone to weight gain. Consult with your veterinarian and use the recommended daily feeding guide to make sure that you are feeding an appropriate amount. Also make sure to use a measuring cup! Feeding a healthy diet and ensuring a good calorie in-calorie out ratio can help your pet be part of the 70% who lose weight on this formula!
Yes, plan snacks. Just a few too many treats every day can lead to serious weight gain. Plan when and where to give treats and adjust meal intake accordingly. We love treating with veggies from our lunch prep in the morning (carrots are a favorite) and we use small training treats when working on a skill during training.
The secret sauce….consistency and monitoring!
If you fall off the wagon and miss a few days exercise or give a few too many treats, don’t worry, get back on track and just keep on going. Weight loss is a journey and not a one time event. Plan out your activities for the week and include plans to exercise for your pet.
Hills 10 week Turnaround calendar is a great resource to help you get a plan in motion!
Now, take a look at an average week for us!
We love the balanced approach that Hills suggests to weight loss! After all, your pet’s health is not just about a healthy weight but an overall healthy lifestyle that includes grooming, cuddle time, play time, exercise, and diet!
Monitoring is key! Check in on your dog’s progress along the way. We love some of the suggestions that are made in the 10-week Turnaround calendar! While the number on the scale is important, consider measuring progress by taking photos, creating a fitness challenge, or taking measurements!
Creating something that works for your family’s lifestyle leads to sustainable, long-term change. When you start to see positive changes in you and your dog, you will be hooked on a life that incorporates healthy eating and fitness!
So what are you waiting for!? Download your 10-Week Turnaround Calendar and get started!