Overfeeding Your Pooch

Dog owners and proper feeding techniques
Dog owners and proper feeding techniques

Are you over-feeding your dog? We all like to see our dogs happy and excited, and what pooch doesn’t wag their tail when you fill their food bowl? So we give them a treat. Sometimes we pile a little extra on. And sometimes we even sneak a piece of steak under the table when no one is looking. We’re happy about pleasing our pup, and your pup is happy to get the extra snack…or is he?

Overfeeding shows

The bottom line is that overfeeding could be hurting your pup’s health. While dogs may not directly exhibit a robust waistline, it is possible that you’re providing more sustenance than their body actually needs. So how do you know if you’re over-feeding your dog? Most commonly, they’ll start gaining weight, and unlike in our larger bodies, a single pound can make a big difference on a dog. But this takes time to accumulate, which leaves us asking how we can take notice before they put on the surplus weight.

When do you feed your dog? Early morning? Late afternoon? And when you feed them, is there some food left over after they chomp down or is the bowl sparkly clean? If your pup is leaving leftovers (possibly in hopes of returning for a later snack), you may be offering more than they need. Rather than leaving their food bowl as is, pick it up and save it for their next meal.

Calculate your dog’s food portion

There are three things you’ll need to consider about your dog. How much do they weigh right now? Then consider their activity level. A typically active dog will require about sixty calories per pound to be healthy. But, you must also consider your dog’s food as well. Different types of food will contain different amounts of calories (such as diet, puppy, senior, and active dog). Before you start scooping in the food, be sure you calculate how much your dog really needs- not just how much they want.

There is a difference between overfeeding and feeding ineffectively. [tweet this]

Timing plays a big part in your dog’s health as well. It is possible to over-feed them all at one time during the day. Good practice incorporates a balanced daily intake, such as twice to three times a day (just like we do). Feed them balanced portions several times a day rather than feeding them all at once (especially at the end of the day when they’re not as active).

Too much can hurt

For the most part, overweight conditions put a lot of stress on your dog’s body. It can hurt their heart and even put stress on their kidneys and digestive system. Weight gain and lethargy are often the most visible signs that your pup may be eating too much. Over time, these conditions will affect them more drastically, leaving your once playful pooch not much more than a warm couch-potato.

And for those owners that like slipping their pup a little extra under the table, this may be one form of overfeeding you may want to think twice about. Human food has a tendency to accumulate on a dog’s liver quickly, resulting in fatty-liver disease. And you don’t have to be a scientist to know that anything that hurts the liver is definitely not going to turn out well. While the occasional carrot or banana (make sure they aren’t allergic) can be good for them, when you’re munching on that greasy fried chicken and you feel like sharing, think again.

Take note of their activity levels

Keep in mind that activity levels will affect your dog’s weight as well. This in combination with too much food can leave them huffing and panting after just a short walk. It is possible to feed them the correct amount, but if they aren’t able to use all those calories they just ate, it’s going to start collecting around their waistline. As a loving dog owner, it’s your responsibility to ensure that your pup is getting plenty of exercise so that they stay healthy and happy.

When your dog is overeating but not gaining weight

Beware of times when you seem to be over-feeding your dog, but they aren’t actually gaining weight. Certain parasites and worms can keep your dog from absorbing the necessary nutrition from the same amount of food. If your dog is eating a lot, still lethargic, and isn’t gaining weight, a trip to the vet might be in order.

Over-feeding your dog isn’t as nice as it may seem to you. Though they might beg, whine, or even toss over their food bowl in a tantrum, maintaining a healthy diet is what’s best for them. And everybody knows that a healthy puppy is a happy puppy.

Keeping up with your pet supplies can be just another thing you don’t want to have to remember.  After a long day at work and going to the store, the last thing you want to do is have to go “to the store” again.  Consider home delivery of your pet supplies!

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