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We all want the best for our dogs – and the most important place to start is their health. Follow our simple ten step challenge to a healthier dog and see the difference in your pet.

 

Step one – weigh your dog


Before you start, it’s crucial to have your dog weighed so you can accurately track his progress throughout the programme. Before heading to the vet, check your local specialist pet store – they may have their own set of scales which you’ll be able to use free of charge.

 

Remember – recommended weights differ by breed. Get clued up before weighing in.

 

Step two – speak to your local retailer


Once you know your dog’s weight, speak to your local retailer about suitable foods for your dog’s size and breed. They’ll be able to suggest a feeding plan most suitable for your pet based on his individual requirements.

 


Step three – clear out your cupboard


Get rid of any unhealthy snacks – if they’re readily available, it can be tempting to feed them to your dog whenever he’s hungry.

 

Step four – check the ingredients


Check the ingredients in your existing dog food. Do they contain unspecified fats, derivatives and sugars? Many leading brands contain low-cost ingredients, such as soya, to bulk out their foods which have little nutritional value and can lead to bloating.

 

Step five – exercise portion control


Not all foods have the same nutritional value. Check the recommended portion size on the bag, and stick to it! Use scales for the most accurate reading and don’t leave food down for your pet to graze on all the time – stick to set feeding times according to the feeding instructions on the bag.

 

 


Step six – get a collar


Let other people know you’re managing your dog’s weight by putting a special collar on him.  This should discourage well-meaning but unwelcome treat-giving on your daily walks which could hamper your progress.

 


Step seven - draft a dog walking rota


Identify the best times to walk your dog (when you’re least likely to find an excuse), jot these down on a rota and stick to it! Why not involve other family members so it feels like less of a chore? Make it a fun event!

 

Step eight – monitor your dog’s exercise


Use an activity monitor, such as the PitPat, to track your dog’s exercise. These devices attach to your dog’s collar and send updates to your phone to alert you as to how active your dog has been that day. You can set goals and track your progress.

 

Step nine – drop the bad habits


It can be tempting to feed your dog your leftovers – but don’t! Many human foods aren’t suitable for dogs to eat, and in some cases can even be harmful. By feeding human food in addition to his regular food, your dog will be eating far more calories than he needs.

 

Step ten – review your progress


Review your dog’s progress on a weekly basis to keep up momentum. Weigh him regularly and record your progress in a table every week. You’ll soon see the difference!

 

 

Ready to begin? Snap a ‘before’ pic and share it to the CANIDAE UK Facebook and Twitter pages. We’d love to support your efforts! 

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