Older Dog Gaining Weight? 5 Things You Can Do to Keep Them Healthy

Having an older dog can be something of a mixed bag for pet owners.

On the one hand, they don’t require the same attention and training as a puppy (unless you have rehomed them), but on the other hand, they often have health issues that need to be carefully managed to keep them healthy.

Plus, much like people, as dogs get older, one of the main things that owners notice is that they begin to put on weight. This can lead to secondary complications, such as joint issues and problems with liver function, which are not as easily reversed in an older pooch.

So, how can you keep your older dog in its ideal weight category? Read on for some top tips.

Exercise

First things first, if your older dog has been diagnosed with osteoarthritis or hip dysplasia, you are going to need to modify how you exercise them. And when it comes to exploring how to exercise older dogs, one thing you need to consider is moderation. If you have a higher energy dog who you used to walk for 2 hours a day, try breaking the walks down into smaller increments if possible. It’s also worth considering hydrotherapy for them, which can be done in a specialist center or even in the home, with a bath full of warm water. This allows your pup to exercise without putting excess pressure on their joints, which will help keep the weight off.

Specialized Food

You may have been looking for dog food and found ‘senior dog food’ and wondered what is in it. Well, it has more oils mixed into it, and it is lower in fat content, and with good reason. Older dogs pile on weight quicker than adult dogs, meaning the fat content in their food is often controlled and replaced with oils and anti-inflammatory nutrients.

So, next on the to-do list to keep your older pooch at a healthy weight is to get them age-appropriate dog food.

Vet Checks

Older dogs will be more involved in vet checks, especially if they have conditions such as hip dysplasia and arthritis.

One way to help ensure that their weight is kept in check is to converse with your veterinary regularly. They will be able to identify any unusual weight gain in your dog, which will ensure that health issues that could lead to obesity are not missed.

Pain Medication

Have you ever had a bad leg? Remember how it stopped you from wanting to exercise? The same is true for dogs; if your older dog was once playful and has suddenly stopped, it is worth booking them in for a vet check, as they may need to begin medications to manage their discomfort. If the discomfort is well controlled, then they are more likely to engage in dog walks and play, helping to keep their weight down.

Up Their Protein

Okay, so this is dietary again, but if you prep your dog’s food from scratch, it is worth getting rid of filler ingredients and replacing them with oils and protein. Indeed, portions of oily fish like salmon will always go down well, as will chicken. However, the proteins and the oils will not be absorbed by the body in the same way as they do not get converted into fat and will help to keep your dog’s weight under control.

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