By Charlee Bear Staff
Many pet owners are breathing a sigh of relief as they emerge from an unusual year and start to regain some semblance of normalcy. However, several are also struggling with the so-called “Quarantine 15” (weight gain due to lockdowns and limited activity in 2020. Not surprisingly, pets have been similarly affected by this, too. What’s worse is that the Association for Pet Obesity Prevention estimates that 54 percent of dogs and cats in the U.S. were already overweight or obese. This excess weight potentially putting pets in danger of developing serious health conditions.
Helping clients get their dogs back into shape can be accomplished by using a combination of dietary changes, exercise, and intellectual and emotional engagement. Remember that each dog’s individual needs and preferences should always be taken into consideration. Here are some helpful tips to share with clients who are concerned about their dog’s weight gain
One way to jumpstart a dog’s weight loss journey involves keeping an eye on how many treats they receive each day. However, this doesn’t have to mean total deprivation; instead of withholding, owners can simply switch out their standard treats with a nutritious, low-calorie option, such as Charlee Bear’s Chicken Soup & Garden Veggie flavored Original Crunch treats. At less than 3 calories each, these crunchy morsels are perfect for both treating and can be given as frequent rewards during training and on-the-go.
Consistency is fundamental when it comes to a dog’s feeding schedule. While shifts in work schedules might require some of your clients to adjust their dog’s meal routine, it is important that they establish and maintain reliable feeding times. This will add some much-needed structure to a dog’s day, and can help regulate digestion.
Exercise is also essential for weight loss, and now that summer has arrived and restrictions are gradually lifting, it has easier to get outside and get moving. Whether your clients’ dogs prefer a casual stroll around the neighborhood or a game of fetch in a park, they and their dogs should venture outside of the house at least once a day. Experimenting with different types of physical activities can also minimize boredom and can keep dogs more engaged.
Another way to help dogs burn extra calories is by keeping them intellectually and emotionally stimulated. This can be accomplished by giving them with interactive toys, such as puzzles (image right) or treat dispensers, or teaching a new trick or two. For some dogs that might be in the habit of eating too quickly, a slow feeder could help set a healthier pace, while also simultaneously presenting an exciting challenge.
By implementing some of these critical lifestyle changes over the next few months, your clients are sure to see the desired results. Their dogs will definitely look and feel healthier, and if this lifestyle is maintained long-term, their overall health can improve as well. Best of all, the additional time dedicated to bonding and interacting will only strengthen the emotional connection between pups and their loved ones, making any sacrifices well worth it.