After the excesses of the festive period, many of us are feeling the call to get back to a healthier lifestyle. Calorie-laden foods are replaced with healthy greens, gym memberships are dusted off and the workout clothes are brought back out.
But it’s not just humans who could use a health boost. According to dog activity monitor Poochplay, around half of all British dogs are classified as overweight or obese.
While dogs are notoriously good at giving us those puppy-dog eyes when it comes to food, obesity in our four-legged pals can present serious problems. Being overweight can lead to diabetes, joint disorders, and cardiovascular problems - ultimately health issues that could shorten your cherished pet’s lifespan by up to two whole years.
So how do you help your dug to keep in the best shape? Essentially, they need the same things we do: regular exercise and a healthy diet.
Do you know how much exercise your dug needs?
One of the biggest contributing factors to obesity in dogs is not getting enough exercise. In fact, according to a 2019 research report carried out by the PDSA (https://www.pdsa.org.uk/what-we-do/pdsa-animal-wellbeing-report), thousands of dogs in the UK aren’t being walked at all.
While the exact level of exercise is breed (and age) dependant, a general rule of thumb is that every dog should have at least one good walk every day. Younger dogs have more energy and may need more, with senior dogs requiring a little less.
Some of the larger or more active breeds (such as Border Collies, German Shepherds or Labradors) can need more than two hours of exercise per day. We love this handy guide by the PDSA for a rough idea of what your dug might need. (https://www.pdsa.org.uk/pet-help-and-advice/looking-after-your-pet/puppies-dogs/how-much-exercise-does-your-dog-need)
If you’re looking to increase your dog’s exercise, you’re not limited to going for walks. Agility exercises like stepping/jumping through hoops, encouraging them to run upstairs and hiding McDug treats around the house are all great ways to increase their general activity levels.
How do McDug recipes help?
Health and nutrition is always at the forefront when we’re developing recipes and so our Grain Free, Super Premium and Naturals ranges all come with a high level of quality protein - known to play an important role in maintaining a healthy weight.
However, if you’re actively trying to manage your dug’s weight and bring them into a healthier weight range, our light recipes are designed to help. With 15% less fat than our standard recipes, you can still give your dog a full bowl of food at mealtimes, safe in the knowledge that they’re naturally consuming less calories.
All of our light recipes also include an amino acid called L-Carntine to promote lean muscle development.
You can view our tasty yet light recipes here: https://mcdugnutrition.com/collections/shop-all/light-dog-food?sort_by=manual
If you do have concerns about your dug’s weight or exercise levels, always consult your vet first to get expert advice.