Due to the significant changes in our lives, we may be unaware of how much we are feeding our dogs. You might not be taking them outside for daily walks or even extensive exercise because of your fear of public settings and the intensity that you take the social distancing rules. Their stress and anxiety, which they picked up from you, might cause them to eat more, which may cause weight gain during the COVID-19 lockdown.
The COVID-19 epidemic has now made 45% of all of the country’s dogs render to be overweight. These 35 million dogs are in life-threatening situations because their overweight can lead to worse and disabling medical conditions and will take two years off of their original life span. Here are ways that dog parents can prevent these results: with food, energy, and focus.
Ditch the low-quality food and treats that might feed them empty calories, like our scoop of ice cream or a handful of jelly beans. This food and treats might be tasty (“one more chip please”), but not be able to fill them with complete and balanced nutrition. An overweight dog might not play with you due to his lack of energy, and more weight can lead to more health problems for your dog’s skeleton, organs, and shorten their quality of life.
The best weight-loss dog food formulas are filled with exceptional ingredients, such as high or multi-protein and fiber sources, while still providing a reduced number of calories. The food will also fill their caloric needs, fill them to prevent persistent begging, and help speed their metabolism. The weight-loss formula can also have a delicious, flavorful taste. A good example of this is the Purina Pro Plan Weight Management Dog Food which uses lean and healthy ingredients to promote weight loss. It also tastes like turkey, because that is its second ingredient, after water.
The right food will increase their playfulness and healthy behaviors, and the correct diet will return them to optimal weight and health. Less fat, fewer calories, and optimal protein level in food will support a strong dog immune system and make more space for muscle capacity in a dog’s body composition.
Besides food consumption, make sure that your dog is drinking enough water. PetMD and HealthyPets recommend that dogs drink 1 ounce of water per pound of body weight each day. End with food.
Most important of all is to take care of yourself. Workout. Meditate. Read the right resources. By taking care of your physical, emotional, and mental health, you ultimately take care of your pet’s well being.
Your dog can also be a part of your self-care. You can do outside and inside exercises with them, such as fetch, tug of war, and chase. If you feel paranoid by social distancing when taking their daily walks, stay away from other people and dogs at least for a distance of six feet, and wear a non-required facemask. This necessary exercise will release dopamine and other positive hormones into your system. This exercise will burn off more calories than your dog has consumed from their food. Spending a quiet, one on one moment with them will help both of you.
By reading the correct resources (i.e. CDC, WHO, UNICEF, and state/country government websites) with the correct information and updates will help you to inform you and calm yourself. With their susceptibility to human energy, they will pick up these changes to your energy.
Keep track of your dog’s well-being and what you are feeding them.
First of all, new medications, pre-existing health conditions, and injuries can also cause weight gain in dogs. Be aware of any changes in their behaviors and emotions. Also, find how you might keep them active with a personal health condition and injury.
Secondly and maybe most important, this lockdown is making major changes to your life right now, whether economic-wise, health-wise, etc. These distractions could take your focus away from how you might take care of dependents, even your pets. You must make sure that you’re not overfeeding them with their generic food or even with unhealthy treats. Make sure they are not fed free choice 24 hours a day, because they might eat because they are bored or it could make unnatural hormone changes. Feed them two to four fresh portions a day and calculate how much food you should put in their food bowls every time. Be sure that they cannot reach toxic foods, such as grapes, onions, and chocolate. Wanda Merling from the Human Society’s Animal Rescue Team also advises that dogs don’t eat human food because foods that are not meant for them may hurt their stomachs.
Lastly, your dog and other household pets depend on your focus to take care of them the best that you can even in this lockdown. For your dog, keep a weight management log so that you can focus on their body weight loss each week.
Food, energy, and focus will change your dog’s quality of life and manage their weight. First, make sure that you indulge in the correct diet and high-protein formulas. Second, taking care of yourself will inevitably help them. You can also choose how you want to bring them into your health routine. Lastly, make sure that you are aware of how much you are giving them and what they can reach on their own. Most important to weight management, burn off calories that they have consumed from food, so less food, and more exercise. You will be proud of you once you reach you and their goal!