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Weight Loss Program

How do you know when your dog is overweight? It is generally agreed that a dog is overweight when you cannot see an indentation between his rib cage and his hips. On a Westie, overweight takes on a square body appearance. As in humans, overweight is not good for a dog's health and long life, so there is no time like the present to tackle the problem.

The best method to tackle overweight is through exercise. A brisk one-mile walk everyday is ideal. If you can go for a walk with your Westie, try throwing toys up and down an interior staircase or playing chase through the house. Group social activities are even better like Frisbee dog or agility competitions.

The other half of the equation has to do with excessive calories. Remember, your Westie can't go to the refrigerator himself, so it has to be your fault when he eats too much. As an opening gambit, switch him to light or senior dog food. If that is not enough to begin to lose, change his treats from biscuits to raw carrots and frozen peas. The peas provide excellent bulk and water and taste sweet to a dog, like candy. Cut his rations in half ruthlessly, but save a treat for morning and bedtime to avoid overproduction of stomach bile.

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