Tips to Prevent Seasonal Weight Gain in Dogs | Pets

Winter holidays and the tasty snacks that come with them can lead to seasonal weight gain not only for humans, but also for their dogs. Cold weather can make it difficult to get walks and the regular exercise dogs need on a regular basis. Beware, a few extra pounds can really affect your dog’s health. The American Kennel Club Canine Partners Program offers the following tips to help prevent seasonal weight gain in your dog.

– Healthy weight. Weigh your dog before winter arrives to see what his healthy weight is and monitor him throughout the season. If your dog is below or above his healthy weight, consult your veterinarian regarding the range your pet should ideally be in.

— Calorie counting. Big holiday meals are exciting for everyone, but too many of them can quickly put on weight. Watch how much you regularly feed your dog; try reducing portions by a quarter cup to help maintain your dog’s weight. If he’s still hungry, it may help to replace the missing food with something like canned green beans. After about two weeks you should be able to resume your normal eating routine.

“Too many sweets. It can be easy to give your pet a few extra treats here and there when you’re partying or relaxing at home in the winter, but treats can be loaded with calories that lead to weight gain, especially if your dog not getting the same amount of regular exercise. If you still want to give your dog extra treats during the winter, try crunchy vegetables like baby carrots instead of high-calorie dog treats.

For more information on how to have fun with your dog, visit the AKC Canine Partners website at www.moredogfun.com.

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