The most popular New Year's resolution every year is to lose weight. Makes sense: with all the extra indulgences over the holidays, getting back on track in terms of a healthy diet, regular exercise, and healthy habits are a great way to start the new year off the right way. But what about your dog? Despite warm weather and sunshine nearly all year long here on the Costa del Sol, winter weight is often a problem for animals as well as for people, so helping your dog shed those few extra pounds to keep them at a healthy weight is a great New Years resolution for them too.
Determining Your Dog's Ideal Weight
The first step in making sure your dog slims down and maintains a healthy weight is to determine just what a healthy weight is. And, just like their human counterparts, that number depends entirely on their individual characteristics. Every dog is different and a healthy weight can fluctuate dramatically on a number of factors including their age, breed, and even overall health and lifestyle, so the best way to determine your dog's optimal weight and how to help get them there is to speak with your veterinarian. Together, you can come up with a diet and exercise plan that works for you and your dog, so that you can help your dog lose the weight they need to be healthy and happy.
Diets For Dogs
As part of your dog's healthier lifestyle to lose weight, start by keeping a food journal of all the meals, scraps and treats that your dog gets over the course of a month so you can see just what - and how often your dog is eating. Don't forget to get everyone that regularly spends time with your dog to contribute to it, including any family or friends, your dog trainer (who likely uses treats on a regular basis), and doggy hotel, dog groomers, or doggy daycare providers, as they may have their own foods, schedules, or methods of interacting with your dog. Dogs are instinctively scavengers so they will eat just about anything and everything they're offered, so getting your dog back on track and helping them lose weight may simply be a matter of making yourself and others aware of your dog's eating habits and making sure everyone is offering your dog fewer (or healthier) treats. If this dietary change isn't enough, a calorie-counting diet may also be recommended by your vet, which involves special low-calorie foods and/or weighing or measuring out your dog's food for portion control.
When helping your dog eat healthier, especially if it's part of a regime to help them lose excess weight, remember that any dog boarding facility, dog trainer, or doggy daycare that is worth trusting your dog with should happily work with any diet plan you and your vet put together. If this is not the case, it's probably time to seek out another who is more supportive of your dog's weight loss goals and overall health.
Exercise To Help Your Dog Lose Weight
Dogs are naturally active, so while exercise is an important part of keeping your dog healthy, including maintaining an already healthy weight, increasing their exercise levels will only contribute about 35% of new weight loss goals (diet will account for a whopping 65%!). Aim to get your dog out for a brisk walk at least one hour per day, with ample free time to run, jump and play on their own throughout the day. If either of these vet-recommended exercise goals is difficult for you and your dog's lifestyle together, a good investment into your dog's overall health in the new year may include hiring a dog walker to get your dog out of the house for a bit while you're at work or letting your dog attend doggy daycare so they have plenty of time and space to get outdoors, play with other dogs, and get structured and unstructured exercise time in a fun and stimulating way.
If you're looking for the best dog facilities for your fur baby in the New Year, complete with full dietary support however your dog needs it, look no further than Paws Doggy Daycare in Estepona. Whether for a day at our doggy daycare facilities, overnight boarding, or even longer stays at our dog hotel, we'll happily follow your dog's diet with any foods you provide, fewer or healthier treats, and structured meals times, as you prefer. When it comes to exercise, time at our made-for-dogs facilities are a great way to help your dog get extra support in their weight loss goals too, with 3,500m2 of fully-fenced orchard, fenced doggy pool, covered and uncovered hard play surfaces, and even regularly structured walks through the campo with our Paws Pack. Your dog will have so much fun, they'll forget that they're getting the exercise (not to mention socialization) they need to be their happiest, healthier selves! Or better yet, why not let your dog have a tail-waggingly healthy time at our dog hotel whenever you're away next year? Not only will they get all the fun, excitement, love and attention they'd normally get from our dog-loving team at our doggy daycare, in the evenings they can curl up inside the house in our specially-designed doggy bedrooms. We even offer safe and secure pick-up and drop-off services so even with the busiest of dog mom schedules, you can still make sure your dog gets the care, exercise, socialization and attention they deserve.
Paws interviews and vets all dogs before they are accepted as part of our Paws Pack, so now's the time to reach out to us so that you and your dog can jump into the new year with a brand new mindset and healthy new lifestyle.