If both you and your dog could do with losing some weight, it can be a good idea to start your weight loss journey together. 

Did you know that around 40% of American dogs are overweight?  With dogs much more likely to be overweight if their owners are also obese or overweight themselves. 

No-one actively sets out to overfeed their pets, but unfortunately, many pet owners use food to treat their dogs or to show them how much they love them. 

However, if your dog is overweight, it can lead to health problems, including type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease, kidney disease, and cancer. 

There is good news, though. If you are reading this, then obviously you want to take action to help you and your dog lose weight, so you are already one step closer to achieving your weight loss goals. 

Keep reading to discover highly effective ways that you and your dog can lose weight together. 

Create a walking routine (and stick to it)

If you are not used to getting a lot of exercise, then a good place to start your fitness journey is with a daily walk. Ideally, you should walk at a brisk pace that results in your dog panting and in you breathing more heavily. Although, if your dog starts falling behind or salivating too much, then you should slow your pace. 

Always ensure that you take water with you, both for you and your dog, as you do not want either one of you to become hydrated. 

Your dog may try to lie down, especially if they are not used to regular walks, however, it is important that you keep your dog moving, even if it means you must slow down a bit. 

As you both become fitter, gradually increase your pace as well as the distance you cover. Make sure that your dog gets plenty of positive praise as they reach their fitness goals. 

Embark on a low-calorie diet 

If you want to lose weight, you need to restrict your calorie intake as well as increase your physical activity. Before embarking on a low-calorie diet, both you and your dog must be reviewed by a medical professional. 

Take your dog to a vet such as heartandpaw.com, who will weigh your dog and evaluate their overall health. They can advise you on how many calories your dog should be eating a day to safely lose weight, as well as recommend what specific foods they should be eating. 

It is also important that you visit your doctor for a health check before you start your diet as they can help design a bespoke nutritional plan that best suits your individual needs. 

Find new ways to reward yourself and your dog

If you are used to rewarding yourself, and your dog with a high calorie treat whenever you achieve something good, or even if you commiserate with sugary snacks, you need to find other ways to reward yourself and deal with your emotions.

Look at ways to treat your body rather than put pressure on it, such as having a facial or going for a massage. For treating your dog, you could buy them a new toy or even give them an enthusiastic cuddle. 

You will both soon adjust to this new way of rewarding yourselves and will feel better for it in the process.

By Erica Buteau

Change Agent. Daydream Believer. Maker. Creative. Likes love, peace and Jeeping. Dislikes winter, paper cuts and war. She/Her/Hers.

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