Tips For Dogs

Easy steps to get your obese Shih Tzu back in shape

Easy steps to get your obese Shih Tzu back in shape

If your Shih Tzu is obese, you need to correct the situation as soon as possible. Obesity in dogs is just as common and dangerous as it is in humans. The cause and treatment are also similar and just as difficult!

Above all, remember that although Shih Tzus are hardy little ones and are one of the healthiest breeds, obesity can lead to diabetes, heart and respiratory problems, and weak joints. The good news, however, is that unusual weakness in a well-fed dog is usually a sign of an underlying serious health problem, which in many cases you can’t do anything about and can prove fatal.

If your Shih Tzu is overweight and you think you are underfeeding him, have his thyroid checked to make sure there is no medical reason for the weight gain. It is also advisable to assess whether your dog is overweight or simply bloated. Bloating can also be related to diet, but is usually due to an allergic reaction to certain foods or an inability to digest properly. If your Shih Tzu suddenly becomes swollen, it may have ingested poison and will need to be taken to the vet immediately.

If your dog is obese, don’t be tempted to drag him along for a vigorous five-mile “trail run.” If you haven’t trained your pet, sudden bursts of activity can strain even the youngest puppy’s heart and lungs. As with humans, exercise should be built up gradually. Slowly, as you adjust his feeding, start exercising your pet more and more until you build a regular and sustainable routine. Once it’s established, stick with it!

Here are eight tips for feeding your obese Shih Tzu.

1) Your Shih Tzu is not a Doberman. He doesn’t need pounds of food to keep him alive. Small dogs fall into the obese category with relatively little food gain. Keep portions small.

2) Get the whole family on board and tell them not to feed your pet treats or snacks.

3) Keep your Shih Tzu out of the room during mealtimes, especially when your children are eating.

4) Set a regular mealtime and stick to it.

5) The amount you feed your dog will depend on the type of food and the age of your pet. As a rough guide, puppies up to four months of age should be fed three small meals a day. From four to twelve months, switch to two meals, but follow a formula designed for “growing” dogs.
Adult Shih Tzu should be fed twice a day with adult dog food.

6) As your pet gets older, reduce the amount, especially if your dog is over eleven years old. Nothing puts more strain on old organs and joints than excess weight.

7) Don’t leave food out all the time.

8) Shih Tzu’s have very expressive faces and it will look like your dog is begging you for more food. Be strong!

Once the excess weight is off and your dog is ready for a full exercise regime, you can reintroduce treats and rewards, but never be tempted to feed him second portions and should resist sharing your food with him. You are not cruel to your pet; you guarantee him a long and healthy life.

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