Why is it not safe to allow my obese dog to fast in getting her weight down?
It’s really hard to resist those big, brown eyes, and you may feel you’re depriving your pet by cutting back on her food, but you really are doing the best thing for her. Obese dogs are usually sluggish, and lethargic. Often they seem depressed. When you modify your dog’s diet and begin walking her regularly, you will have a healthier, more energetic and more playful dog.
What you don’t want to do, though, is make her fast. Fasting can cause an excessive stomach acid, vomiting and overall lethargy. There can be significant loss of muscle mass, the blood glucose levels will diminish and, in just two days, the liver will become depleted.
If you want to help your dog lose weight, follow these healthy tips:
• Dieting is really a matter of calories in, calories out, so put her on a low-calorie, high-nutrient commercial pet food diet, with no treats or table scraps. You may want to feed her a few smaller meals, rather than just one or two large ones. Ask your vet to recommend one that will fit your budget.
• Increase the fiber; it’s one way to diminish her hunger.
• Make sure your dog is drinking plenty of fresh water; that, with the fiber, will contribute to the feeling of fullness.
• If you really must give her a biscuit or cookie during the day, cut down slightly on her regular food. Offer her kibble during the day as treats but take it out of her daily allowance.
• Remember to exercise! If your dog is older and less active, start slowly, perhaps by walking twenty minutes a day and gradually increase the time to at least 30 to 45 minutes a day. If your dog is young and active, toss a ball or flying disk for her to chase and burn off those unwanted pounds while playing games. Swimming, running and chasing balls are all good ways to get some exercise in while having fun.