What's the secret to canine weight loss?
I have a 5-year-old Beagle named Daisy who has a
big weight problem. We keep trying to put her on
diets and giving her exercise, but it seems that
all the time Daisy is getting into something
really bad and stuffing herself untill we think
she'll burst. I was wondering if you have any tips for weight loss and
beagle-proofing our house.
Daisy is in good company. Overweight dogs are common, and Beagles are especially predisposed to the problem. It turns out that some dogs just love to eat.
You have already mentioned the two key ways to make your dog lose weight: less food and more exercise. If Daisy is breaking into cabinets or taking food from counters, then it's not likely that she is going to slim down.
To "Beagle-proof" your house, you must start by getting everyone in the family to commit to Daisy's weight loss program. Nobody should leave food unattended on tables or counters. Child-proof locks for cabinets usually keep dogs out as well.
If it is not practical to keep food out of reach, then consider locking Daisy out of the kitchen (or any area with food) when you are not directly supervising her. Some of the most gluttonous animals actually have to be crated to keep them from gorging themselves.
Canine weight loss is a challenge, but it is worth it. If you can keep Daisy's weight down, she will be at lower risk for a host of problems, including arthritis, diabetes and breathing problems.