Here, tips for how to track your dog’s calories will be discussed.
The first step in tracking your dog’s calorie intake is to know how many calories are in your dog’s food and treats. Read the labels on each product, and don’t forget to think about foods – such as peanut butter – that you use to encourage your dog to take unappetizing items, such as pills.
Control Portion Sizes
Next, portion your dog’s food and treats for the day. Allowing your dog to free feed (i.e. eating whenever he or she is hungry and simply topping off the food bowl whenever it is low) encourages your dog to overeat. Instead, determine the proper portion size based on your dog’s age, sex, breed, and activity level and place the food in a baggy, to be given to your dog the following day. You can do the same for any treats your dog receives as well. With this technique you will not be tempted to overfeed your dog, and you will know exactly how many calories he or she has consumed.
Avoid Table Scraps
While the occasional table scrap isn’t likely to cause any harm to your pet, the truth is that receiving an “occasional” table scrap every day can significantly add to your dog’s caloric intake – especially if that table scrap is something high in fat. To track your dog’s calorie intake most accurately, avoid table scraps altogether (and make sure everyone in your family is on the same page).
Keep a Food Journal
To make it easier to track your dog’s calories, keep a food journal and log every time your dog eats throughout the day, as well as the calorie total. Don’t forget to include unscheduled foods, such as stolen items from the counter. Oftentimes, keeping a food journal can provide an eye-opening look as to why a pet is on a diet but not losing any weight!
Weigh Your Dog Regularly
Most veterinarians are more than happy to allow clients to bring their dogs in for regular weigh-ins. In this way, owners can accurately know exactly how many calories are necessary for a pet to lose or maintain a certain amount of weight.
Tracking calories can be a simple process with a little bit of planning. By following the tips listed above you can keep your dog’s weight in check without feeling as though you are depriving your pet.
Please note: all dogs should be treated as individuals. The Actijoy™ blog is for educational and entertainment purposes only. In the case of emergency, always seek qualified healthcare from a local veterinarian or emergency facility. Actijoy™ blogs are not designed to treat, diagnose, or prescribe medication for your pet.