Helping Your German Shepherd Lose Weight With Love
Canada’s canine companions are facing a very human problem: obesity. The President of the Canadian Veterinary Association estimates that 50-60% of the country’s pets are overweight or obese. Carrying additional weight is harmful for all dog breeds, but for German Shepherds, it can be particularly painful as they are prone to degenerative joint conditions. Maintaining a healthy diet is not always easy; we all like treating our pets now and then, and it can be hard to gauge pet portion sizes. You might also be unknowingly buying food which contains weight-gaining ingredients such as corn syrup. If you’re concerned that your German Shepherd is over their ideal weight, there are simple measures you can put in place to help them lose weight safely and gently.
Can you tell if your dog’s overweight?
The consequences of obesity in dogs are just as serious as they are for humans. They include osteoarthritis, type 2 diabetes, and kidney disease, among others. For German Shepherds, carrying extra weight puts additional pressure on their hips and elbows, which are already prone to dysplasia. If you’re not sure whether your dog’s weight is healthy, try a visual guide to identifying and reducing obesity in dogs, so that you know what to look and feel for. You can then set about creating change for your pet.
Changes to diet and exercise
To start reviewing your German Shepherd’s food, first, check the label for corn syrup and other ingredients to avoid. Then, just as you would with your own diet, tighten up your portion control. Liaise with your vet to ensure that your dog is still enjoying a balanced but calorie controlled diet so that they are getting the nutrients they need. They will need good nutrition in order to have energy for the next step; better, regular exercise. German Shepherds are naturally active dogs, so they will enjoy longer walks and the freedom to explore. If they are very overweight, start gently with a few slow 15 minute walks each day, before building up to an hour or so per day. The extra walking will actually benefit you both; research has repeatedly shown the benefits of walking for better health, so you’ll both come home fitter and happier together.
We might not always notice when our dogs gain weight, but the long-term effects of obesity can be really damaging to their health. Identifying weight gains early and taking steps to control portion sizes will really help your German Shepherd’s weight loss. Regular, longer walks will boost this and make you both happier and healthier. It’s a perfect way to show your companion just how much you love them.
We are German Shepherd Breeders in Kingston Ontario, Canada. Our breeding stock consist of only the finest German bloodlines. Slight to No Slopes! We find that the West German lines are the best dog suited for family, companion, working, obedience and protection, because they are very balanced in their drives.