5 Ways to Help Your Dog Maintain a Healthy Weight

Follow a few simple tips for a healthy lifestyle for you and your dog.

What can you do to help your beloved companion live a healthy, happy life? Just like people, dogs need to maintain a healthy weight. Follow these five simple, yet important, steps to ensure your pup doesn't pack on the pounds and you'll be able to enjoy many years together.

1. Feed high quality foods

The foundation of your dog's weight control revolves around a high quality food with a good protein in the base. Purchase the best you can afford and read the labels. Avoid products with fillers and opt for healthy proteins like chicken that helps build and maintain lean muscle mass. Just as in humans, the more muscle, the faster fat burns and the easier it is to maintain a healthy weight in your dog.

2. Offer limited weight control treats

Dogs love their treats and owners just love to dole them out. The key is to select a treat that is specially formulated for weight control and offer them on a limited basis. Yes, your dog may look adorable when they beg and bop for a bone; resist the temptation and bestow them sparingly.

3. Keep the water bowl full

Believe it or not, a dog can get a full stomach - just like a human. It's vitally important to make sure your pup always has a source of fresh water. It's not only to keep them hydrated - it helps to fill their tummies so they don't eat as much food and it aids in the digestive process. So keep those water bowls full.

4. Feed on a schedule

One of the biggest mistakes we make with our furry friends is feeding them too often or inconsistently. Even worse is when we feed them every time we snack or eat. Feeding on a schedule helps maintain a healthy weight. It also provides structure and helps keep your dog on a consistent potty schedule - an added benefit which makes everyone happy.

5. Set aside time for play and exercise

Dogs love to romp and play and they need exercise. Set aside 15 to 20 minutes a day to get them moving and active. A routine of activity will go a long way in helping your canine companion maintain a healthy weight. Jog with your dog, spend a little time in the backyard playing fetch with them or bring them to a local dog park to run and socialize. The exercise will be good for you and your dog.

Loving your dog means taking good care of him or her. Just remember these five basics to maintain a healthy weight and you'll have your faithful buddy by your side for many years to come.

Content by Terry Mulligan.