Is your doodle looking a little fluffier than usual even after a new haircut? What is a healthy path to help your doodle lose weight? As responsible dog owners it is our job to make sure that we notice any weight fluctuations with our doodles. Once we have taken notice of our doodle’s weight gain, where do we go from here? We will take a look at some safe ways to help your doodle lose that extra fluff.
⚠️ Note: Word of warning, please seek the advice of your veterinarian prior to helping your doodle lose weight. You will want to ensure that your doodle doesn’t have any medical issues that may be contributing to their weight gain. Some of these contributing medical issues may be hypothyroidism and hyperadrenocorticism or Cushing’s disease. Owners need to be sure these are eliminated prior to your doodle’s weight loss journey. ⚠️
Weight Loss Basics
People and their pets can share the same struggles with gaining too much weight and the struggle to lose weight as well. The same actions that lead to owners gaining too much weight can also lead to pets gaining too much weight. 🥓 Getting to and attaining a healthy weight is equally important for pets and owners alike. As few as a couple of pounds overweight can put your doodle at risk for serious medical conditions. The difference is that pets need owners to help them live their healthiest lives. Doodles can’t lose weight without the owner making proper choices and supporting them. Learning how to keep your doodle at the ideal weight can add years to their lives, so you can keep your best friend for longer. 👍
Helping your doodle stay at their ideal weight is not that hard when you have the proper tools. ⚒️ Doodles that have weight issues should be weighed once per month to make sure that weight loss progress is being made. A healthy weight loss amount to aim for is 3 to 5 percent of total body weight per month. Measuring and keeping track of your doodle’s progress is the only way to know that positive progress is being made toward weight loss goals. 📆
Each doodle is different and may need multiple changes to their meal routine before finding the proper tactic that works for them.
Some basic weight loss tactics to try are not feeding table scraps and only feeding your doodle at its planned meat time. Temporarily stopping giving treats or changing your dog treats to small cut up pieces of apples, carrots or green beans. 🥕 If you are training your doodle and you still want or need to use treats as a training tool remember that treats are also calories. Those added calories need to be subtracted from the overall total food given to your doodle for that day. Also do not be tempted to free feed your doodle or use an auto feeder. Consider picking up a puzzle bowl 🧩 that makes your doodle work for their food. These bowls help in 2 ways, they promote mental stimulation and it takes longer for your doodle to eat which means that they can mentally register that they are full instead of just scarfing the meal down.
Owners with multiple dogs may want to consider feeding their dogs separately in different rooms and only feeding any family pets when the owners are home. Owners need to always know which pet is eating which food and how much. If you are trying to help your doodle lose weight but they are eating the cat’s food that was left out as soon as you shut the front door, that is not helping. 🐈
Risks for Overweight Doodles
To many owners, our pets are our best friends and our family members and we want to have their best interest at heart. Taking an honest look at where your doodle’s weight is, is important to their future. Even as little as a couple of pounds overweight can have a very big negative impact on your doodles overall health. As the doodle owner their health is literally in your hands. They cannot feed themselves. It is up to you to help your doodle live its healthiest life. The good news is that even helping your doodle start to lose a little bit of extra weight can have a really big positive impact. 👏
Overweight doodles unfortunately carry a large amount of extra health risk. Having extra pounds does lead to secondary health conditions. These secondary medical issues include: 🩺
- Type 2 diabetes
- Respiratory issues
- Kidney disease
- High blood pressure and heart disease
- Chronic inflammation
- Different types of cancer
When it comes to weight gain, these medical issues for your doodle can be avoided. Avoiding those secondary conditions are a much cheaper alternative than paying excessive vet bills due to medical issues stemming from excess weight. 💸 Not to mention the overall health and happiness of your best friend.
Hybrid Breed Specific Issues
Different doodles can have higher risks than others due to the second breed that is combined with the poodle. These higher risks can leave some doodles more prone to gain weight and also more prone to secondary health issues due to excess weight. 🏥 These negative medical issues can be elevated by even a slight weight gain.
Doodle hybrids that have a parent breed with a shorter nose or brachycephalic can overheat faster due to temperature or heightened exercise levels. Brachycephalic breeds are also at a higher risk of respiratory issues and this can be made worse by excess weight.
Doodle hybrids whose parent breeds have longer and low bodies 🌭 can be affected by excess weight since the extra weight puts more pressure on their backs and joints.
All of these hybrid specific medical issues can usually be minimized by ensuring that your doodle stays at a healthy weight throughout their lives.
Just like human owners, doodles need daily exercise to stay healthy and maintain a healthy weight. Helping your doodle slim down to an appropriate size is faster and easier when exercise is included. This can be an easy process of adding daily walks. 🚶
If you are not used to walking with your doodle, start out with smaller walks and gradually increase the length over time. Over exerting an overweight doodle is not a good idea. Keep an eye on how much your doodle is panting, turn around if you need to. 🥵
⚠️ Note: Word of warning, Doodles that are under 10 months old can have underdeveloped joints. Running or jogging on hard surfaces should be avoided if your doodle is not fully developed. If you have a really big doodle like a Great Danoodle, they will not be fully developed until between 18 to 24 months. ⚠️
- Start with a brisk walk, no warm-up needed.
- Walk for 12 to 17 minutes.
- Keep your dog focused and at a brisk pace. (This is NOT “stop and smell the flowers” time.)
If you and your doodle would like something more active, trying canine agility is a great activity to explore with your doodle. It can build your bond and help your doodle lose needed weight. If you don’t have a facility near you, you can also use a local playground. 🥏
Try to engage your doodle in activity that will raise your doodle’s heart rate twice per day. (Minimum 10 to 20 minutes)
If you need indoor activities that you can do with your dog to get them more active you can grab a toy and play with them or get them interested in puzzle games or build your own. 🎾
“Puppy Eye” Tactics
When it comes to our doodles getting food from us as owners, they really have us trained. From whining to using the lethal “puppy eyes”, how do we fight these doodle tactics and not give in? Here are a few ideas that work when they turn on the “puppy eyes”: 👀
- Start a play seccion with their favorite toy
- Take your dog out for a walk
- Give fresh vegetables as treats
- Give them fresh water
- Give them a puzzle toy with healthy treats inside
- Try more frequent meals using the exact same amount of food
With your help as the doodle owner your doodle can start their weight loss journey and very shortly get back to being as happy and healthy as they deserve to be. Helping your doodle lose weight doesn’t happen overnight. This process of getting your doodle to their ideal weight is slow and steady and takes about 6 to 8 months to complete. 🗓️ Ideally our doodle should lose about 3 to 5 percent of their body weight per month or about 1 to 5 pounds, depending on size and initial starting weight. Please make sure that your doodle is accomplishing their weight loss goals safely, don’t hesitate to contact your vet if you have any doubts.
Keep in mind throughout this process the overall goal of helping your doodle live a happier, healthier and longer life with you. 💗
One of the hardest hurdles for owners mentally is to remember NOT to associate food with love. You can show your doodle that you love them in so many healthier ways than with food. Remember that your doodle can’t understand that excess food is killing them, but the owner can. Please realize that your self control and healthy choices as an owner is protecting your best friend from a premature death and ultimately extending the time that you can spend with your doodle.
Lets not end this on a sad note, you as an owner now have the tools and knowledge that you need to make a healthy contribution to your doodle! You and your doodle can do this and you will probably build a stronger bond in the process. 🎉