Is your Labrador Retriever a little…overweight? Before you start panicking and put them on a diet, there’s something you need to know about your dog.
Labrador Retrievers are predisposed to weight gain due to their food-seeking behavior. The fact that they can be easily trained works for and against them. Before you are accused of fat-shaming your dog, check out this research on Labrador Retrievers and weight gain. According to the study, obese Labrador Retrievers have a specific genetic variation, which causes them to gain weight.
This gene disrupts the ability of the dog to sense the store fat in their body and their brain’s reward system. As a result, they eat more than they are supposed to without realizing it.
Now that you know why your dog is gaining weight let’s work on how to maintain it.
Tips on How to Keep Your Labrador Retriever Slim
When it comes to maintaining your dog’s weight, it comes down to two things: calorie intake and calorie output. Meaning ― the amount of food your dog eats must be directly proportional to the hours of exercise they get.
You need to come up with a routine that contains an hour or two of exercise, daily. This can be in any form from playing fetch in the backyard to taking them to the dog park and letting them play with other dogs. Following are a few tips on how to set such a routine:
- A trip to the supermarket for diet dog food. The food should have fewer calories and fats, and a high amount of protein.
- Instead of feeding your dog kibbles because it’s easier, every now and then opt for wet food or make something of your own.
- Find an alternative way of rewarding your dog. Instead of using high calorie treats to reward your dog, use their daily allotment of kibble for training and rewards. This force-free training technique will not only help reduce your dog’s weight but will also reinforce positive behavior
- Don’t fall for their doe-eyed looks when eating lunch and dinner. They will suck you in and tempt you to give them a few food scraps. This habit can contribute to their increasing waistline.
- Hire a force-free dog walker for some exercise sessions. Take your dog to the beach on weekends and let them run wild and free.
- Arrange playdates in the park with your fellow pet owners who also have well-behaved dogs.
Monitor your dog’s weight loss progress and get them a vet checkup to make sure that the diet you have put them on is the proper one for your dog. Remember ― the slimmer your Labrador Retriever, the longer they will live without any health complications.
If you are looking for dog training or dog walking in Miami, visit the website Dances with Dogs. They offer in-person, as well as online dog training. To know more about their services or to schedule an appointment, call on 786-299-1552.