What can you do when your old dog is putting on the pounds (not due to a medical condition) and you've cut down their caloric intake?
- Mix in the veggies - In particular, crunchy ones like carrots. They serve double duty acting as filler and adding fiber to your dog's diet.
- More smaller meals - Cutting your dog's daily food allowance in two and feeding once in the morning and once a few hours before their afternoon walk allows them to digest each meal easier and helps to keep their metabolism up, which in turn, burns more calories.
- Just add H2O - This is not about replacing food with water. It is all about getting your canine roommate to slow down while they're eating. Changing up their diet, in particular by making meals smaller, may cause the dog to eat faster. Add 1/4 - 1/2 parts water to 1 part food to make some gravy out of that dry food. I find that when dogs eat too fast they're more prone to spitting up their food. I, as I'm sure my pup, feel that it's a lot easier on both of us with chow going through his system in one direction.
- Reduction in treats - Easily, the toughest to do (at least for me.) The way that I've been able to handle it is to figure out what treats I'm giving my very, very good dog all week and cut the amount in half. I'll then take a handful of dry food out of his daily allowance and hand feed him him that during the day. The additional benefit here is I'm managing my dog's diet and spending extra bonding time using his regular food as a training aid.
Just like any diet that you undertake as a human, consistency is key in helping eliminate your dog's extra LBs.