Weight Management

Weight Management

As part of our commitment to mental and physical health and well-being we work with you and your vet to define the support that you may require. This can be from a simple exercise programme to preparing portion controlled meals and treats to a full 12 week programme. All active programmes can be tailored to your exact requirements based upon your specific circumstances.

  • The 12 week active weight management programme supports dog owners to achieve a healthier weight for their much loved family members.
  • Receive support throughout your dog’s weight loss journey through your personal sponsor here at Paws and Play.
  • We offer a supportive and encouraging environment where we can help one another to ensure our dogs achieve ultimate weight loss success. Together we can assist our dogs to live happier, healthier and more active lives.
  • During this journey you may find that you get fitter too, whilst building a strong foundation for your future.
  • The programme will start with an initial 1-2-1 consultation to help you to prepare for the coming weeks. We will ask you to complete a food diary for your dog, current food intake including treats, current activity tracker and your goals as advised by your vet.

Preparation will be required after the initial 1-2-1 session to ensure that you are ready. This will include ensuring suitable dog food is available (assuming we are not providing this, in which case we will supply to you at the 1-2-1 or immediately after).
At the 1-2-1 session we will agree a start date based upon the requirements from us to support you and the availability of the above information.

How does the programme work?

Your vet will have recommended that your dog lose some weight and will be able to provide you with the calorie intake appropriate for this to take place. We cannot put our dogs on a severe or crash diet and the food reduction needs to be planned and phased.
We will work with you to either define meal options to support your dogs’ requirements or we can provide calorie controlled / portion controlled meals made up for you if you have little time.

  • We can incorporate healthy treats into the calorie limits that will enable you still to train your dog using positive reward systems or just give them a treat now and again without risking the required results.
  • We will also work with you to define an appropriate exercise plan for your dog that will incorporate some fun and different challenges, the exercise will increase as your dogs’ fitness improves to assist in further weight loss.
  • We will track your dogs’ progress with measurements and photographs for you to provide regular updates to your vet or we can liaise directly.
  • We will work with you to ensure that old habits do not creep back in at the end of the programme and will continue to provide 1-2-1 support where required.
  • We offer a 30 day money back guarantee if weight loss is not achieved during that time.

This program is not suitable for:

Pregnant or lactating dogs.
Dogs under 1 year of age.
Dogs under 18 months of age if a giant breed.

Why is this so important?

Obesity in dogs is a serious issue and although we may feel like we are just giving them nice things because we love them we are actually in danger of making them very ill. Overweight dogs can suffer from:-

  • Sugar Diabetes
  • Arthritis and Joint Stiffness
  • Knee Ligament Damage
  • Heat Intolerance
  • Breathing and Lung Problems
  • High Blood Pressure
  • Heart Disease
  • Liver Problems

How do I tell if my dog is overweight?

Your vet will usually be honest with you and tell you on a routine visit if your dog is overweight. However you can tell simply by:-

  • Giving your dog a “hug” and feel their ribs. You should be able to feel each individual rib with a slight layer of fat over them. If you have to work at feeling those ribs or cannot feel them at all, it means your dog is obese. If, on the other hand, you can see the ribs, your dog may be too skinny.
  • Feel the area over the base of your dog’s tail. A slight layer of fat over the bones is good. If the bones are hard to find, they are overweight.
  • Ask your dog to lie down. Then while standing, take a look at them from above. You should be able to see a “waist” behind the rib cage if they are in the healthy weight range. If they does not have a waist, they are too fat.
  • Finally look at your dog from the side. The waist should again be visible as a “tuck” behind the rib cage area. If the waist is the same as the chest, they is definitely overweight.

Possible Causes of Canine Obesity

There are many possible causes of obesity in dogs – some are medical-related; some are lifestyle problems:

Lack of Exercise
Is your dog a couch potato? Just like people, a lack of exercise will lead to obesity in dogs. An active dog will naturally use more calories. Moreover, an active dog is a happy dog and that makes them less likely to “binge” out of boredom or stress.

Improper Diet
Poor quality commercial foods and treats that contain too much fat, grain-based carbohydrates, and sugar as well as insufficient amounts of protein and vitamins will also create obese dogs. Many dogs are now exhibiting signs of wheat and grain INTOLERANCE.

Even if your dog consumes large amounts of food, if the food does not contain sufficient nutrients, the Breed dispositions will feel hungry. Moreover, even if you are feeding your dog a high-quality dog diet, they can still put on weight if the type of food is inappropriate. For example, a mostly inactive dog will easily put on weight if they are  fed a high-energy dog food.

Very young dogs (2 years or younger) and older dogs (over 7) are less likely to become obese. The most susceptible age range to develop obesity is between 2 to 6 years of age.

Breed Predispositions
Some dog breeds are more prone to obesity. They include:

  • Basset Hounds
  • Beagles
  • Cairn Terriers
  • Cocker Spaniels
  • Collies
  • Dachshunds
  • Labrador Retrievers
  • Shelties

If your dog is one of the above breeds, you should watch their weight carefully. PLEASE FREE TO CONTACT US TO SEE HOW WE CAN HELP