Did you know that 50% of dogs in the UK are overweight or obese? We mean well when we lavish our dogs with affection and extra treats, but it may not always be healthy for them. Today, we’re going to look at ways to help promote dog weight loss.
There are a lot of factors that go into losing weight. Breed, quality of kibble, mealtime habits, and exercise are just a few of those things.
Meal times can be especially tough for your dog though. They don’t understand that there are consequences for eating too much.
You know that if you overindulge you’ll become ill, but your dog doesn’t make the same connection. That’s why you need to be their impulse control at mealtime.
Overeating is one of the main reasons for weight gain and other medical conditions. By using something like a Fenrir Puzzle Bowl you can help your dog in forming better habits that will help reduce weight gain.
We’ll be taking a look at how exactly a puzzle bowl can transform mealtime and make it healthier for your dog.
Slower Eating Promotes Dog Weight Loss
We’ve all had an excited dog dash to their food dish the second they know it’s meal time. They get so excited for their food.
It’s good to know your dog has an appetite as when any changes occur they may be ill, but there is a point where too much of a good thing isn’t so great.
If your dog is eager for meals and scarfing down all of their food, they may be eating too much.
We’ve all experienced eating too quickly and accidentally making ourselves sick. This is because your stomach needs time to signal your brain that it’s full and you need to stop eating. When you eat very quickly, your stomach doesn’t have enough time to do so before it’s too late.
The same thing happens to your dog, but they don’t understand that eating too quickly is what’s causing their stomach ache. They don’t know that their stomach needs time to tell their brain it’s full. You need to help your dog slow down so that there’s a chance for that to happen.
A slow feeder aids in slowing eating by design. When you fill the bowl, the kibble will fall into the nooks that are between the raised parts of the bowl.
This allows your dog to only get a few pieces of food at a time. This can drastically reduce the speed at which they eat because they can’t swallow entire mouthfuls of food at once.
Since their stomach fills much more slowly, they will have a much better chance to send that very important signal to their brain. They won’t overeat nearly as much if they have a chance to realize that they’re full.
Preventing Boredom Promotes Dog Weight Loss
Have you ever eaten not because you’re hungry, but because you’re bored? Boredom eating is common in humans, but did you know that it can also affect your dog?
Boredom in dogs is normally associated with unwanted behaviors such as chewing on household items like furniture or shoes. You might think of a bored dog digging up a flower bed or pacing.
However, two overlooked signs of boredom are overeating and begging behaviors. If you notice your dog licking their empty food dish or begging for treats more than usual: they may be bored and not hungry.
Thankfully, puzzle bowls are designed to help curb boredom.
Having your dog work for their food instead of simply scarfing it down provides a challenge. This is why these types of dishes are often called puzzle feeders.
Your dog has to figure out how to get the food from the maze that’s designed into the bowl. This will help to occupy them and keep them mentally stimulated.
Did you know that mental stimulation can be just as good as or better than- tiring a dog out when compared to physical exercise?
This is especially important with working breeds that need a lot to do to be happy.
Using a puzzle bowl at even one meal every day can help to build a small task into their day that will help keep them from becoming bored.
If you have a particularly smart dog, puzzle bowls come in different shapes, so you can make sure you provide a regular challenge to them.
This way, they’re less likely to beg for food or appear hungry. No one wants their dog to be hungry, but it’s up to you to figure out if they’re hungry or if they need a task.
Portion Control Helps Promote Dog Weight Loss
It happens. You’re busy and you just fill your dog’s food bowl, so that you can keep going. It can be an easy mistake to make with your dog’s food bowl.
Maybe you’re leaving the house for work, picking up the kids, or you’ve had a long day and are just trying to go to bed. We know life isn’t always easy.
However, portion control is very important. Just like you, if your dog over-eats all the time, they’re going to gain weight.
A puzzle bowl is more difficult to overfill than a normal food bowl. You can fill a typical dog bowl right to the top.
It can be very tempting to just scoop the kibble up with your dog’s dish and set it down for them. A puzzle bowl prevents this.
The ridges make it nearly impossible to just scoop up a bowl of food to set down. You’ll need to stop and measure food to place in it.
This is because of the ridges in the bowl. The kibble is supposed to settle between them, so the bowl doesn’t make a good scoop. That and puzzle bowls can be shallow by design and may not scoop up the amount of food that’s wanted.
Taking a few extra minutes to properly measure out your dog’s portions is a good thing though. If you give them only what they need, they can’t overeat.
They may not even eat everything that’s offered, because the slower pace of eating allows them to feel the natural fullness queues their stomach gives.
Other Things that Promote Dog Weight Loss
Eating habits are the main way to promote weight loss for your dog, but other lifestyle changes can help as well.
If you find that a puzzle bowl on its own isn’t enough, don’t give up. Talk to your vet and see what other things you can implement to help your dog drop extra weight or keep it off.
Below are some of the most common things owners do to help their dog shed the extra weight.
Exercise Promotes Dog Weight Loss
Every dog is different and will have different exercise needs.
A small breed like a chihuahua may only need two fifteen minute walks a day while a working breed may need two plus hours of intense exercise.
The important thing is to get your dog active.
Quality and Amount of Food Can Promote Dog Weight Loss
Higher quality dog food has all of the important nutrients your dog needs in it. The fact that it’s jam packed full of all of those important things means you can feed your dog less and they’ll feel full longer.
If you’re feeding your dog less at meal times, they’re taking in less calories. This is one of the big keys to weight loss is a change in diet.
This can be especially important with small and low energy breeds. They aren’t running around as much so they don’t need as much food as large working dogs.
Counting Treats Can Promote Dog Weight Loss
Treats contain calories, so if you’re helping your dog lose weight: you should factor in treats.
No one wants to not give their dog the occasional treat or reward them for a job well done. You can still do both of those things while your dog is losing weight, however you need to be careful.
You need to factor the calories from the treats into their total caloric intake for the day. If you don’t, you may be feeding them more than you realise.
While many things can help promote dog weight loss, the biggest one is having good mealtime habits.
Slower eating, portion control, and building extra playtime into the day will go a long way to keeping extra weight off of your dog.
What’s helped your dog lose weight? Has it been their favourite puzzle bowl, more exercise, or something else?
Come over to our social media page and tell us all about it. We can’t wait to hear from you.
FAQs About Dog Weight Loss
What is a puzzle bowl for dogs?
A puzzle bowl for dogs is a specially designed dog food bowl with ridges, nooks, and maze-like features. It is designed to slow down a dog’s eating pace and engage their mental abilities while they eat.
How often should I use a puzzle bowl for my dog’s meals?
You can use a puzzle bowl for one meal a day or more, depending on your dog’s needs. Some dogs may benefit from using it regularly to prevent overeating and boredom.
Can I still give my dog treats while using a puzzle bowl?
Yes, you can give your dog treats while using a puzzle bowl, but it’s crucial to factor the treat calories into their daily caloric intake to maintain their weight loss progress.
What other factors besides puzzle bowls can help my dog lose weight?
Besides puzzle bowls, exercise, high-quality and portion-controlled food, and monitoring treat intake are important factors for promoting dog weight loss.
Is it necessary to consult a vet when trying to help my dog lose weight?
Yes, consulting a veterinarian is essential when attempting to help your dog lose weight. They can guide a suitable weight loss plan tailored to your dog’s specific needs and health conditions.