If you think that you have a fat Poodle and unsure what to do, this guide will help you. Over the last decade, many videos starring pudgy animals, and people watch them for a laugh. However, it isn’t a laughing matter. Having an overweight dog is detrimental to the dog’s health, and it can substantially shorten its lifespan. If you know that your Poodle needs to lose weight, there are two things you should do to start helping your dog get down to a healthier weight:
- Determine the cause or causes of the excessive weight
- Change your dog’s lifestyle to reduce its weight
You need to make sure that your dog has a problem before you start trying to put it on a diet or increase the activity levels.
Is My Poodle Overweight?
This is a difficult question because Poodles come in so many different sizes. Your vet is probably your best place to start. A vet will not only be able to tell you if your dog is overweight but can give you specific information on what you can do based on your dog’s specific medical history. It could be that your dog has an ailment, like a thyroid disorder, that is causing the problem.
Most Common Causes of Overweight Dogs
There are six primary causes for weight gain in dogs, and they are all ones you probably already know in the back of your mind. The problem is figuring out how many of them are contributing to your dog’s current state.
- Overfeeding is the most common cause for dogs (and most people) to put on too many pounds. This is particularly problematic for breeds like the Poodle that is so personable and more than happy to beg for treats. Whether it is excessive treats, sharing table scraps, or simply giving your dog too much food, this is almost certainly something you are going to have to change.
- Being too sedentary is another common cause for Poodles to be overweight. They tend to be more energetic dogs, so this lack of activity is a problem, usually because of the people, not the dog. Depending on the size of your Poodle, you should be making sure your dog gets the recommended amount of time being more active. From walking to training to playtime, there are a lot of ways you can get your dog to be more active. However, you will need to tailor the activity level to your dog’s age, which is the next potential problem.
- Just like people, dogs’ metabolism tends to slow down as they age. This means that they are overfed, even if you don’t change a thing about their diet. The same number of calories will result in weight gain because your dog’s body cannot process the food as quickly. This is why there are different foods for senior dogs – they need a different diet than younger dogs. If you make your Poodle’s food, you can change the food you prepare for your dog.
- Aging dogs aren’t able to do as much, which means they will gain weight even faster. Of course, you should not be pushing your dog to do more than it can handle. As your dog reaches the golden years, you need to figure out the right activity level for your dog. This will mean further reducing his caloric intake to meet the new activity levels, so there is a delicate balance to managing the activity and diet of an aging dog.
- If your Poodle has been recently spayed or neutered, weight fluctuations are normal. Your dog could gain weight or lose weight. This is where you need to consult your vet because it probably isn’t a matter of making many changes for your dog. Do be aware that a dog’s metabolism can slow down after it has been fixed, so you will want to monitor your dog for a few months after the procedure to see if the metabolism remains slower.
- Some dogs do have conditions that cause them to gain weight. The most common problems are related to the thyroid, but genetic conditions like Cushing’s Disease can cause weight gain. This is why it is important to talk to a vet to ensure your dog doesn’t have a more severe problem causing weight gain.
Once you consult with a vet, you can begin taking the appropriate steps to help your dog get down to a healthier weight.
All the Usual Methods of Weight Loss Apply to Dogs Too
As much as we may not like it, unless there is a health condition causing a dog to be overweight, it’s the person who is the real problem. After all, we are the ones who feed dogs and get them out to exercise. If your dog is gaining weight, getting it back down to a better size is entirely up to you – your dog isn’t going to be able to refrain from eating what you put in front of it. Your Poodle can’t take itself out for a walk either. This is the hardest step, but once you admit that you are in charge of its health, it will get easier to start making the necessary changes to get your dog healthy.
- Set a specific time or times to feed your dog, and do not deviate from the schedule. Find out what your dog’s ideal caloric intake is (depending on the size and age of your dog), and make sure your dog does not exceed that amount. If you feed your dog once a day, it is a lot easier to manage how many calories he eats, but if you feed your dog two or three times a day, you need to divide its caloric intake over the meals. It is the number of calories eaten a day, not a meal. Fortunately, it is pretty easy to split up the number of cups you give your dog over the course of the day, but do make sure that everyone follows the set amount of food at a time. Take treats into account when you manage the daily caloric intake of your dog. This is why you want to switch to praise instead of treats as soon as possible for training.
- Make sure your dog gets the right level of activity for its size and age. If your dog has only spent 10 minutes outside a day, you can’t go straight to jogging with your Poodle. You have to work up to the more vigorous exercises. Your vet can help you plan for the best way to increase your dog’s exercise levels safely.
- Consider changing your dog’s diet to something healthier that also helps it lose weight. Dog food with lower quality is comparable to lower quality people’s food – it’s kind of like doggie junk food. Healthier food can not only reduce how many calories your dog eats, but it can also help with its digestion as well.
What is heartening about helping a Poodle lose weight is that it is a lot easier than losing weight yourself. Changes to your dog’s food often mean being more aware of what goes into the food and reducing the amount you give it over the course of the day. Even adding one or two 20 minutes walks every day can start to help your Poodle get down to a healthier weight.
Helpful Dog Question: What Should I Do If My Dog Stopped Eating?
Conclusion For “How Do I Help a Fat Poodle Lose Weight”
Once you get your Poodle down to a healthy weight, you will need to continue to monitor your dog’s weight. Many vets will let you bring your dog in periodically for a weight check since this will help you keep your dog healthy. For more miniature Poodles, you can weigh them at home on a human scale, as long as you are willing to do a bit of math. You will need to be careful when you pick up your dog. Don’t worry. If you don’t want to pick up your dog, you can always stick to visiting your vet for a regular check. Plan to verify your dog’s weight at least once a quarter, and if you notice the weight going up more than a pound or two, be more aware of what you are doing that is causing the weight gain.
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