There is nothing worse than seeing a round barrel of a dog waddling down the road. And the worst comment to hear is “She’s getting on, so we want to make sure she’s enjoying herself.”
The reality is that whilst the owner thinks that they are spoiling their beloved pet, they are actually killing it with kindness, and reducing how long the dog could live for.
Just like in humans, carrying unnecessary fat is really bad for the organs.
Feeding the dog titbits just because you love them is the wrong attitude to take. Dry foods are complete meals, and there is no proven need to give them extra meat or vegetables. Dogs are omnivore, which means that they eat meat and vegetables. However, occasionally giving them fresh vegetables can upset their stomach and have a dire effect at the other end.
When you look at a dog from above you should be able to see a definite waistline. When you run your hands over their ribs, you should be able to feel them with slight pressure.
You should feed to the look rather than feed to the food manufacturer’s recommendations. A fat dog will suffer from heart problems.
Personally I feed to the look and use an old plastic spice pot to measure out the day’s amount by volume. I then split that amount in to two meals a day. Two small meals are better for Alfie’s digestion than one big one, and by feeding twice a day at set times also regulates as to when the dog will go toilet. I walk my dogs twice a day as a part of their feeding/toilet routine.
If your dog is overweight then simply reduce how much you feed them every day. By using a small pot or container helps you to quickly measure out the same volume amount every day. I use this plastic spice pot, which lives in Alfie's food container. The pot is about 11 cm long by 5 cm across. I simply give him the same amount every day, and if he's put some weight on then I reduce how much he gets. Alfie is a cavalier King Charles Spaniel.
Alfie is currently on about 7/8th of a pot a day - split in to two meals. The amount given obviously depends on what type of food you are feeding, as some food makes have larger chunks than others. Don't be tempted to give them more just because the bowl seems empty. This is how much Alfie gets twice a day. As you can see, it just covers the bottom of his 500 millilitre bowl.
Both of my dogs get a squirt of Yumega fish oil on their evening portion, which is good for the skin
Since writing this article I have changed to Harringtons. Unlike such brands as Bakers, Harringtons does not contain tartrazine and numerous other additives. But Harringtons does contain Omega 3 and 6, and other good thing.
I started my pair on the Rich in Lamb and Rice, but found that the Lamb was too rich for my younger cavalier. So we are now on the Rich in Turkey with veg every day