Boxers' Diet to Cut Weight

Boxers' Diet to Cut Weight

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The Boxer can quickly gain weight after middle age. Learn how to keep your Boxer feeling healthy here.

With a large chest, petite waist and curvaceous legs, the Boxer is the "Marilyn Monroe" of the canine world. Alas, like anyone who indulges too much, the Boxer can quickly "sausage up" after middle age - approximately 5 to 6 years old - or when activity levels decrease. It's important to keep your dog at an optimal weight throughout the dog's lifetime or you will risk the chance of obesity-related disorders, including arthritis, heart disease, diabetes, or fatty tumors. There are many ways to improve the diet of a Boxer, whose ideal weight should be between 55 to 60 pounds for a female, and 60 to 70 pounds for a male.

Portion Control

The most important consideration for reducing your dog's weight is to become conscious of exactly how much food you are feeding them, and to cut back as much as you feel comfortable with. If you keep the food out all day because your dog is a grazer, try picking up the food after the dog steps away from the dish. This will teach your boxer to eat the food while it's down, and you can more accurately measure the dog's intake. Always check with your veterinarian before changing or reducing your Boxer's diet.

Beggars Aren't Choosers

Boxers are incredibly expressive with their emotions. You can truly tell what's going on by looking into the dog's eyes. A Boxer may use this human-like expression to manipulate the owner into a covert dinner scrap operation under the table. Don't do it. Don't give in to the sad puppy dog eyes of the begging Boxer dog. The dog will live longer without those scraps. It's much better for your dog to be a little underweight than a lot overweight.

Veggie Fillers

Green beans and baby carrots are a nutritious way to add fiber and filler to your Boxer's diet. Green beans are low in calories and they are tasty enough to attract even finicky boxers. Buy fresh green beans or French-cut, frozen green beans and avoid canned green beans, which have a high sodium content, according to Goldstein. When feeding your Boxer, divide the normal portion of dog food in half, and replace one-half with green beans or carrots. For example, if your boxer normally eats three cups of food each day, give your dog one and one-half cups of dog food mixed with one and one-half cups of veggies. Canned pumpkin also adds fiber and texture to your Boxer's diet.

Reduced-Calorie or Senior Food

Most dog food manufacturers make a senior version of their food for the older or overweight dog. These foods replace fat with additional fiber to help your dog feel satisfied. As long as you purchase a premium, high-quality food designed to be nutritionally complete that lists the number one ingredient as meat (not meat by-products), this alone will drop your Boxer's caloric intake considerably. These foods can be safely fed for the long run.

Snacks and Treats

Instead of dipping into the doggy cookie jar and pulling out a bacon-y biscuit or meaty, jerky treat, try making your own healthy chews from sweet potatoes. Simply slice raw sweet potatoes into thin pieces, and place them in a dehydrator or an oven for a few hours until all the moisture has been removed. You can use the same technique to dry baby carrots, peas, squash, apple wedges, or thin slices of melon. These chewy treats are recommended for adding fiber to the diet. When giving your boxer a treat, you can just break off a small piece each time.

The Feel Test

While the scale tells you your dog's weight, veterinarians also use a "feel" test to determine the fitness level or condition of your boxer dog. Run your hands along your dog's rib cage. If you can feel the dog's individual ribs and they are covered by a thin layer of flesh, the dog is considered to be an ideal weight, according to the Vet Info website. If your dog doesn't have an indentation at the waist, and appears to be chunky through the torso, your dog could stand to lose a few pounds.

5 Things to Know about Pet Weight Gain 

What to Know About Overweight Pets

Overweight pets are susceptible to greater health problems. Learn what you need to know about your pet's weight here.

Dismiss any thoughts that it’s cute when Fluffy or Fido gain weight - flabby pets are unhealthy pets. Find out some important facts about the implications of excessive weight as well as treatment options.

1.  Getting Bigger and Bigger

Over half of America’s pet cats and dogs are overweight or obese, according to a yearly survey from the Association for Pet Obesity Prevention. And, while the rate for overweight pets is holding fairly steady compared to survey information from previous years, the number of obese pets is on the rise. Weight problems are a serious and pervasive issue concern for America’s pets.

2. Tough on Health; Tough on Your Wallet

Excessive weight can lead to all sorts of health problems including diabetes and heart disease. Extra pounds can also cause or aggravate conditions like arthritis. Overweight pets often have trouble moving around and grooming themselves. Weight problems can lead to an uncomfortable lifestyle for your pet, and may even require surgery for associated diseases and conditions. Any weight-related illness is likely to have an impact on your finances as well, since pets may require surgery or pricey medications to treat or maintain their standard of living.

3. Making Major Changes to Food or Exercise? Consult Your Vet

Before you make a substantive change to your cat or dog’s exercise level or diet, have a chat with your vet and get advice on how to manage your pet’s weight. You want to avoid shocking your pet’s system with a sudden decrease in food, which can affect your pet’s metabolism or cause tummy troubles. And as with people, too much exercise, introduced too quickly, can put stress on your pet’s body and cause injuries and discomfort.

4.  Aim for Figure, Not Flab

Get the idea that an overweight pet is adorable out of your head. Your cat or dog should have a visible waist and a rib cage that can be felt when you touch along your pet’s sides.

5. It’s a Problem, Not a Treat

Giving your cat or dog treats is so tempting, and seems like a great way to express love and encouragement. But just a few treats a day can start to add up in terms of health impact, potentially becoming a significant and unhealthy part of your pet’s diet. Consider limiting the number of treats you give your pet, and switching to a healthier variety, if necessary.

More on Dog Nutrition

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Large Breed Dog Food And Nutrition
Your Dog Food Questions Answered

This information is for informational purposes only and is not meant as a substitute for the professional advice of, or diagnosis or treatment by, your veterinarian. Always seek the advice of your veterinarian or other qualified professional with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard or delay seeking professional advice due to what you may have read on our website.
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