Along with their human counterparts, an increasing number of cockapoos are showing the signs of obesity. Over-eating, eating the wrong foods and exercising less are all factors which are contributing to the fat epidemic. Take a look at your cockapoo and consider whether he has gained a pound or ten too many. Is your cockapoo overweight?
Dogs which are overweight are at a higher risk of a number of health issues, and unfortunately are likely to enjoy a shorter life span than a fit and healthy dog. If you have been giving your dog treats to display your affection too many times, your dog may well be overweight. If you are concerned about his condition and feel that it is time to take action, then consider some of the following options to kick start that weight loss.
Get your cockapoo checked by your veterinarian.
Before embarking on any weight loss regime, it would be a good idea to take your cockapoo to your vet to have a check-up. There may be any number of medical conditions which can cause or contribute to weight gain. Kidney or liver disease can cause fluid retention, or your cockapoo might suffer from an under active thyroid. Having such conditions diagnosed and treated early will benefit your dogs overall health. Whilst visiting your vet, take the opportunity to discuss your pets calorie requirements and his diet. Make note of any recommendations which your vet gives with regard to weight loss, diet and exercise.
Carefully adjust your dog’s diet.
After considering possible medical issues which may have contributed to your cockapoo obesity problem, turn your attention to his diet. You should be able to reduce your dogs intake of food by up 20% without him suffering from excessive hunger. In time, he will adjust to reduced portion sizes. You may also wish to consider the ingredients contained in the dog food which you give him. It might be appropriate to switch dog foods, in order to provide him with a healthier option. Sometimes it may take a while for your dog to readjust to his new diet and food.
Get some exercise.
Just as healthy humans need regular exercise, so do cockapoos. Take the opportunity to play ball with your dog on a regular basis. Retrieving is an excellent exercise for all dogs, and can be a fun activity for them at the same time. Daily walking with your dog, for at least 30 minutes at a time is another way to benefit your dogs health, but will also help to build your relationship and friendship with him too.
No junk food (especially human junk food.)
Human junk foods are not healthy, and in fact are potentially harmful when fed repeatedly to your dog. His delicate digestive system is not designed to copy with such high levels of sugar, fat and salt, and such treats on a regular basis will undoubtedly contribute to weight gain. If you wish to treat your dog then make sure you give him a healthy option. Choose fresh fruit and vegetables as treats, such as carrots and apples (no seeds.) Your dog will enjoy them just as much, if not more, than junk foods.
Use healthy treats.
High calorie dog treats such as dog biscuits and cookies have their place, but should not be the only treat given to your dog. If you are trying to help your cockapoo to cut down on the calories, give him a meat flavored nylabone to chew on. Such a calorie free treat will keep him occupied and content for hours, instead of the few seconds it would take him to gulp down a cookie.
Enlist the help of your family.
Restricting your dogs calorie intake must be a task in which the whole family should play a part. It will be of no benefit for you to refuse your dog high calorie treats if your children continue to feed him treats under the table. Make sure that everyone is aware of the plan of action, what treats are acceptable such as apples and carrots, and what treats are to be restricted such as cookies.
Gradual weight loss over a period of time will ensure the best results for your cockapoos health. Monitor your dogs weight regularly, and do not aim for him to lose more than 7% of his starting weight each month. Continue to consult with your vet throughout the weight loss process, as you aim for your cockapoo to be a happy and healthy dog for years to come.