Keeping your Bull Terrier at an ideal body weight contributes to your pet’s overall well-being. It is also one of the easiest ways to extend your dog's life. Satisfying their greedy eyes is probably shortening their life.
Obesity is loosely defined as 30% above ideal body weight. Bull Terriers can become obese either due to health issues or if they are given too much food and too little exercise. The most recent statistics classify the majority of dogs in the United States, almost 56%, as overweight or obese. Bull Terriers with obesity may show the following symptoms:
- Weight gain
- Excess body fat
- Abdominal sagging
- Inability or unwillingness to exercise
How common is obesity In Bull Terriers?
Due to the highly energetic nature of Bull Terriers, a well-exercised Bull Terrier should not become obese. However, it is very easy for them to become obese if they don’t exercise regularly.
The factors affecting Bull Terrier weight gain are:
- Exercise: A fully grown Bull Terrier needs almost two hours of exercise per day. The pounds can pack on pretty quickly if your Bull Terrier is inactive.
- Food: The weight of your Bull Terrier is the amount of food you allow them to consume.
- Genetics: Your dog’s weight may not just come down to food and exercise. Weight issues in Bull Terriers can also be genetic.
But no matter what the cause of the issue is, it can be easily fixed if you follow some simple tips and tricks!
Tips for obese Bull Terriers
Obesity can decrease your Bull Terrier's quality of life and have major health risks, including heart disease, high blood pressure, and diabetes. The very first step in dealing with obesity in Bull Terriers is the realization of the problem. Here are a few useful tips if your Bull Terrier is obese.
- Start a high protein and low carb diet
Bull Terriers need a protein-packed diet to fuel their high-energy personalities. For overweight Bull Terriers, reducing carbohydrates is vital. Although these carbs add nutrients to your dog's food, they also make your Bull Terrier gain weight. So, you should look for a high protein, low carb formula in any type of dog food. Moreover, protein involves more calories to digest than carbohydrates.
Also, try replacing biscuits, cheese, and other high-fat treats with fresh chopped carrots, apple slices, or green beans.
- Keep a check on how much you’re feeding
Every dog is individual with unique requirements. It’s quite likely that the dog food manufacturer’s feeding recommendations might be causing your Bull Terrier to become obese. Give your Bull Terriers two to three small meals a day, rather than one large meal.
- Keep your Bull Terrier active
Exercise is the best answer and ultimate solution to problems with obese dogs. Bull Terriers should be given regular exercise to avoid becoming overweight.
Take them out for a long walk in the afternoon or evening before they go to bed. You can encourage your Bull Terrier's playful nature through activities like fetch, swimming, and agility exercises.
Remember to slowly build your Bull Terrier's stamina. Start exercising your Bull Terrier gradually, especially if your dog isn’t used to it.
Pet parent tip: If you opt to run with your Bull Terrier, keep their age in mind. Youngsters can damage joints by running repetitively on hard surfaces. It's better to avoid jogging on hard surfaces until your Bull Terrier is at least 12 months old.
- Limit table scraps and leftover food
A few extra pounds can make a huge difference for Bull Terriers. So, concentrate on a healthy diet, and curb the urge to treat them with table scraps and other food you eat.
- Measure and monitor
Once your vet has designed a weight-management plan for your Bull Terrier, you should stick to the meal plan. Be vigilant and avoid free-feeding your Bull Terrier. Use an appropriate measuring device to ensure you’re managing portion control.
- Switch to non-food rewards for your Bull Terrier
Every Bull Terrier loves a tasty treat, but there are several other ways you can reward your dog. Dog treats can add a significant amount of calories to your Bull Terrier’s daily diet.
Instead of dog treats, include rewards like belly rubs, head massages, and verbal praise. You can also consider a quick play-time with their favorite toy. This will be more enjoyable for your Bull Terrier than a tasty treat.
Remember the 10% rule: Experts suggest that dog treats should make up to no more than 10% of your dog’s daily calorie intake.
If you are giving food treats, look for low-carb and low-calorie options. For long training sessions, cut dog treats into smaller pieces.
Health problems caused by obesity
- High blood pressure
- Orthopedic problems and faster degeneration of affected joints
- Low thyroid hormone production
- Heart and Respiratory Disease
- Bladder/Urinary tract disease
- Decreased life expectancy
How to transition from active weight loss?
Once your Bull Terrier has achieved their weight loss target, you will need a maintenance game plan. So a monthly weigh-in is valuable for your pet. Stick to your Bull Terrier’s daily exercise regimen. It will benefit your dog in their old age as well.
When should I consult a vet?
The very first step in dealing with an obese Bull Terrier is to recognize and acknowledge that there is a problem. If your Bull Terrier isn’t losing any weight after almost ten to eleven weeks of controlled diet and exercise, then it's time to consult a vet. As in some Bull Terriers, there could be certain underlying health problems that are hindering weight loss.
Your vet will give your Bull Terrier a thorough checkup. He can also help you decide if your dog’s weight loss objectives are attainable, and whether you need any additional assistance.
Some Bull Terriers lose weight faster than others. The trick is to be patient with your routine and give your Bull Terrier a couple of months. You can help your Bull Terrier live his best life!
Even if your obese pet is gradually losing weight, there is progress. But if the weight just stops dropping, then it's time to talk to a vet and restrategize.
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