Nutrition for Less Active Dogs
Less active dogs are more likely to put on extra pounds since they don’t burn as many calories. It’s important to think about ways to help keep your less-active dog active and healthy. Keep in mind that dogs that don’t get much exercise do not need as many calories as other dogs do.
Is my dog less active?
Dogs that don’t get much exercise, prefer to sleep, don’t run when they go outside or tend to move as little as possible would be considered less active.
Why are some dogs less active?
• Age: As dogs grow older, their energy levels tend to drop.
• Illness or Injury: Physical injuries or illness can make it harder for dogs to move as much as they once did.
• Overweight: Dogs that are overweight tend to be less active. This can create a cycle. The more overweight, the less active, and the less active, the more overweight.
• Opportunity: Sometimes dogs are less active because they haven’t had the opportunity to get out and exercise. As a dog owner, it’s your responsibility to make sure your dog gets plenty of exercise. Whether that is a daily walk with the family, or a long run.
Feeding a Less Active Dog
If you have a less active dog, you should try to feed the right amount of calories for your dog's activity level. If your dog is in ideal body condition and isn't gaining weight, you're feeding the right amount. But if your dog has become less active while his feeding has remained the same and he's becoming overweight, try these tips:
• Cut back on treats or eliminate them completely from his diet.
• Feed less of your dog's regular pet food. Measure the amount of food that you put into your dog’s bowl to prevent overfeeding.
• Put your dog’s food in a treat/kibble dispensing toy. This provides both physical activity and mental stimulation for your dog.
• Increase your dog's exercise with additional walks or playtime each day.
• Consider switching to a reduced-calorie food such as Purina® Fit & Trim® brand adult dog food.
It is always a good idea to consult with a vet before changing your dog’s diet. A vet can help tailor a program for your dog, track progress, and help troubleshoot along the way.