German Shepherds are strong and active, but they are not an exception to the danger of becoming overweight. Before worse comes to worst, we need to prevent possible issues by means of practical solutions. After all, we want to see our furry friend happy and fit!
What does overweight mean?
Overweight is not a sickness, but it leads to other diseases. Humans and dogs are alike when it comes to being overweight – if they eat more than they need, this leads to unnecessary calories being stored in the body and turning into fats. Fats help us carry out our daily chores, but if there are tons of it stored in the body, they become a burden to our lives. This is especially true for doggies.
So how can we tell that your dog is overweight? Easy. Try to feel your dog’s ribs and spine. If you cannot feel these bones right away, then your friend might have gained a few extra pounds.
Dog overweight? solutions to prevent having an overweight German Shepherd
The golden rule of “Prevention is better than cure” still holds true to this day. This is an effective mindset when it comes to preventing issues related to long-term agony and regrets in the future. Solving obesity is tough, since the physical status and mindset were already used in doing a leisurely routine. It takes a lot of patience, resistance in the face of temptation, and a very strict discipline to get one’s old self back!
Although German Shepherds are not prone to becoming overweight, your food choices, daily activities and practices affect their chances of growing obese. Let’s try to assess each of them.
1. Food Control
There is no absolute freedom – unless you constantly get free food for your dog. Either you want to give your dogs’ desire to live in cloud 9 or just too admired on seeing them always eating, you are also giving them high chances of risk. Dogs could not care less about their health, that is why it is our duty to control it.
First, observe. You should be able to tell what their food allergies and food preferences are. This is important to know because you might be providing them with meals that are in fact terrible for them. If your German Shepherd is acting strange, vomiting or scratching excessively, there must be something wrong.
Moreover, you need to familiarize yourself with the appropriate nutrients that the dog should receive. German Shepherds are prone to problems in their joint bones, so you need to make sure protein is on the list of must-have nutrients. Consult your vet on the amount of food your dog should receive and ask for additional advice. Make sure to follow your vet’s indications. This is the only way to make sure that your doggo will be as cheerful as it can be.
Secondly, give a German Shepherd lots of water. Needless to say, dogs need water. Apart from quenching their thirst, water also helps dogs stay healthy by regulating their internal systems.
Thirdly, make sure to clean and sanitize your dog’s food bowls and water bowl regularly. Cleaning their utensils is enough to fight over a hundred bacteria lying in their bowls.
Lastly, discipline. The very key to reaching goals is discipline. Since the dog follows the owner, the owner must definitely show discipline. Yes, we know, treats will make any dog waddle its tail even if it has just eaten, but just because dogs cannot say no, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t either.
As much as we want to give them food in order to make them happy, too much of everything is bad. I understand that food is an important connection between you and your doggo, but discipline is important for the doggo’s sake. You need to train yourself and your dog and to stick to a plan of portions. This may prove to be hard and sometimes you will encounter difficulties, but just keep on trying, later on you’ll be surprised to find that you no longer need to worry about your dog becoming overweight.
A male German Shepherd weighs around 30-40kg, while females weigh around 20-32kg. Their height ranges from 10 inches to 2 feet. It is important to maintain their features within these numbers, and in order to do this, they need to do physical activities.
Exercise is a good way of burning and slimming any unwanted fats in their body. Walking and jogging are the most common and easiest ways to make your dog exercise. They do not only bring about the slimming results that you need, but they also help you build a stronger connection to your dog. This bond helps you keep the doggo enthusiastic and thus encourage them in exercising. Just go ahead and run along! You won’t regret it!
According to vets, it is better for dogs to exercise early in the morning or at any time during the day unless the weather is too hot. High temperatures may lead to strokes, which you definitely do not want your dog to have!
Furthermore, make sure to wait patiently before and after meals. Though it is exciting to hit the road and run, we want our dogs to run to the fullest capability. And bloating will definitely not help in the process of making them healthier. Take note and time 30 minutes before the meal and 1 hour after it.
Ample exercise takes between 30 and 45 minutes. When your doggo is only starting to exercise, try to take breaks in order to let the dog catch its breath. Furthermore, walk on even sidewalks to keep its paws from getting hurt.
Most importantly, allow your dog to drink water. This will prevent dehydration. Once you begin to exercise regularly, you’ll be surprised that your dog will bring his leash to you – inviting you to go out!
Walking and running are just the basics, but you shouldn’t feel limited when it comes to the world of sports. After all, German Shepherds are active and playful friends. There are lots of creative ways and exercises that you can try. If you need suggestions, check out “Barkercise”, a website where you can find plenty of tips to keep your dog’s blood circulating.
Discipline makes exercise turn into a routine. You need to stick to your schedule, and fight against the temptation of laziness to get rid of the pile of excuses you are bound to come up with. You need to show your dog how fun it is to exercise outside. Or maybe have a group who loves to walk their dogs every morning. Just have fun!
3. Annual Check-up
When it comes to dog care, we always want to give our furry friends the best, and in order to do that, we have to turn to the experts themselves. If you want to make sure that your doggie is still healthy, you need to visit your vet at least once a year. Just make sure not to say it out loud, or your furry friend may freak out!
As a dog owner, it is vital to keep our eyes on your pet. We should at least be aware of where it goes, where it plays, what its favorite spot or favorite toy is. Sometimes, this information can be very useful in order for you to keep your furry friend in check.
During the check-up, the doctor will perform a physical examination, as well as go over the nutritional chart. As such, you need to be prepared to provide the necessary information as accurately as possible.
The visit to the vet is also your chance to pose questions regarding the dog’s “strange” behaviors, additional nutrition, and what not to do. After all, experts know best. There may be new studies regarding food and nutrition, so it is best to keep up to date.
Furthermore, when visiting the doctor, you will also get to meet fellow pet lovers. Sharing experiences and enthusiasm really helps you to gather more information on how to become a more responsible dog owner.
Instead of visiting the vet when the worst-case scenario has already crept up, it is better to prevent crisis situations, remain up to date on the latest information and be aware of what to do or not to do at all times. You will thank yourself later for not exposing yourself to expensive treatments needed to help your dog.
German Shepherds are ever-loyal and all-around canine friends. Even with they are strong, playful and active, they can still become overweight, though.
Obesity is a big problem to deal with, so before it comes to this, it is important to prevent it from happening. The three suggestions are:
Food Control – change the free food canister into a nutritional chart;
Exercise – bond with your furry friend by doing regular physical activity;
Annual check-ups – pay annual visits to the vet to make sure your pet is healthy.
All of these suggestions require collaboration between you and your pet in order to keep everything on the right track. Furthermore, you need to impose a certain discipline so as to maintain your dog’s health. After all, your pet only looks up to everything you do.
Follow these recommendations starting from now, and you are bound to notice immediate progress! May you have plenty of fun moments and a healthier lifestyle with your furry friend!