Keeping Your Dog at a Healthy Weight

Keeping your dog at a healthy weight for their whole life is essential for long term wellness. Excess weight can accelerate arthritis development in their limbs and make them more prone to orthopedic injuries, skin diseases, and even diabetes.  
One way to determine a healthy weight is to run your fingers along the side of the dog's rib cage, just behind their front legs. You should be able to feel the contours of the ribs but not see them from 6 feet away. If you can feel your pet's ribs easily, your pet is probably at a normal weight. If you can't feel the ribs easily, your pet is overweight.
 
A good starting point is to use this formula:
  1. Divide the weight of your pet by 2.2.
  2. Multiply this figure times 30.
  3. Add 70, and you've got a general idea of how many calories you should be feeding.
 
A necessary tool in the fight against excess weight is a measuring cup. After you calculate how many calories your pet needs, it's essential to measure the amount of food you feed them. Weight loss starts by adjusting daily caloric intake, but exercise is vital. For dogs, as little as 20 to 30 minutes of brisk walking is all it takes to boost immune function, improve cardiovascular health, and reduce many behavioral problems.
 
Offer meals on a schedule, one bowl for each pet, within the same time frame each day.
Along with a healthy, well-balanced diet, boosting your pet's activity levels can help them develop lean muscle, burn fat, and feel good all over.
 
We also recommend not free-feeding your dog. Put your fur baby on a schedule and feed them 2-3 times a day at the same time every day. Dogs like routine, and this will help regulate their systems. This way, you'll know exactly how much they're eating.
Exercise is vital to keep your dog healthy, both physically and mentally and is a great way to burn calories.
Keeping your dog at its optimum weight will make a difference in their health and increase their life-span. Extra weight causes pain in dogs with arthritis and joint problems, and thinner dogs may live up to 15-percent longer. [1]  
   
Dog foods that contain high protein, especially protein derived from animal sources versus vegetable protein like potatoes, are better for weight control and maintenance, especially if they use low glycemic carbohydrates as a binder.
Precise measurement is critical to know how many calories you are serving. 
Feeding twice a day with portion control is an excellent way to prevent overfeeding and keeps the dog's blood sugar at a more consistent level, which helps control the desire to overeat. 
It's just as important for dogs to exercise daily as it is for humans. Dogs who get less exercise should eat fewer calories than active dogs. The prevention and treatment of excess weight will primarily depend on diet. A loving owner wants to supply their dog with healthy food, and it is worth noting, in that regard, that all calories are not equal. Four-hundred calories of animal-sourced protein are not the same as four-hundred calories from grain, potato, and high glycemic carbs. Would you be able to maintain your ideal weight eating primarily bread, potato chips, and doughnuts versus the same number of calories of lean meat? 
 
[1] Effects of diet restriction on life span and age-related changes in dogs. Richard D. Kealy, Dennis F. Lawler, Joan M. Ballam, Sandra L. Mantz, Darryl N. Biery, Elizabeth H. Greeley, George Lust, Mariangela Segre, Gail K. Smith, Howard D. Stowe. J Am Vet Med Assoc. 2002 May 1; 220(9): 1315–1320. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11991408