Overweight Springer Spaniel
Overweight Springer Spaniel - Ok so it happens to all of us at some point, we all can get a little tubby. This can happen to a Springer if they have been spayed or neutered, although there are some that disagree with that. In my experience, once Springers I have known have lost their manhood, they tend to get a little more rotund.
So if you have an Overweight Springer Spaniel and he is a little larger around the girth, you should not only take a look at the quantity of food that you are feeding them, but you need to factor in the treats and tit bits they are getting.
Springers are great hoovers and the chances are if you have kids they are hoovering up dropped biscuits and all sorts so try and look at overall quantity of food consumed. Talk to the whole family, usually an overweight dog is getting tit bits from each member of the family, and each "tea stop" amounts up to far too many calories. Make sure every member of the household understands that no matter how good your Springer turns on those "spaniel eyes" tit bits are out, you are sticking to the diet for his benefit.
How Much Should My Springer weigh?
A Springer should weigh on average between 18kg and 23kg depending on their build and sex. Of course the larger heavier boned show Springers will be on the larger side than the more agile working springers. So as with humans you should use your common sense and judgment. Be honest with yourself, you know when your dog is overweight. Vets I have spoken to say it is not uncommon for them to see and Overweight Springer Spaniel that are weighing between 26 to 28KG
Losing Springer Weight
We all know that to lose weigh the calories coming in need to be less than the calories being burned, so you need to look at diet and exercise for your Springer. Look at what the whole family is giving the dog, and ensure if your dog is about to go on a diet, that the whole family has bought into it. It is no point trying to get your Springer to loose weight if one member of the family gives in to those ever so effective Spaniel eyes.
Most dog food manufacturers produce diet versions of their brands, look for the diet version of the brand you use, if there is not one available find a good quality alternative. Make sure you use the portion instructions listed by the manufacturer, there is no point in giving them double helpings of the slimmers portions.
Some dog food brands use a a high oat based food, as this will fill the dog up for longer. Move to more diet friendly treats, my Springer loves pop corn so that is a great alternative to high fat treat such as cheese that all Springers love.
How much should I reduce my springers food intake by?
I would say start by reducing an Overweight Springer Spaniel food intake by about 20%, it may seem cruel but the health benefits they will see will be remarkable. I think it is far crueler to kill your dog with kindness. You know what I am talking about, when you see these dogs struggling on their joints due to the extra weigh they are carrying.
You must make sure your tubby Springer is getting plenty of exercise to help him drop the pounds. At least 45 min a day is what they need minimum in my opinion. However if they are not used to that amount of exercise you need to build it up slowly otherwise they may get an injury. Start off with a 10 minute walk and build it up day by day until 45 minutes is a breeze for them.
If your Springer is elderly of has joint problems, try swimming, its great for their cardiovascular system but easy on their joints. You don't have to go to a special doggy physio place for doggy swimming, a muddy canal and a ball is heavenly for a Springer.
Combining both diet and exercise should reduce the width of your Springer. As they get older watch out for the middle age spread, as Springers can be prone to this as they become more comfortable asleep in the living room.
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