How to say Happy Holidays to your dog - without the weight gain

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Be vigilant! Perhaps the most important preventive measure of all – your love and caring attention! This means that you’ll have to pay attention to what the kids might be feeding the dog (remind them that chocolate, raisins, onions and other human foods are dangerous for dogs – in addition to the fact that they don’t need the calories!) and check whether your dog’s Christmas jumper isn’t just a bit too tight. When you notice, you can do something about it, so be sure to keep an eye out!

Keep active! With all of the office parties, neighbourhood get-togethers, kids’ recitals, and cold weather at this time of year, it’s easy to cut walks a bit short, or head home a bit early from the park. Resist this temptation! Staying active just that little bit longer helps both of you burn off a few extra calories – this can be all the difference between winter weight gain and New Year’s Resolution success!

Do the math. Don’t be scared – it’s just a little applied mathematical theory, and it’s quite simple: If your furry friend is eating their full daily calorie allowance in kibble, plus getting another round of calories in treats, snacks and goodies, that adds up to be too much! Adjusting amounts as needed to prevent weight gain is a simple fix.

Treat them well! Measure out the correct amount of daily kibble based on size, age and lifestyle, according to the package instructions (a bit less if weight loss is needed), but try not to feed it all at once. Instead, divide it into a few portions: breakfast, then a few kibbles here and there fed individually as treats, then dinner, with another few kibbles later as post-play treats to keep them delighted all day!

Give they what they really want! When your dogs begs for a bit of your Christmas treat, it’s not really the food they’re asking for: what they’re really saying is “I want what you have, because I love you and admire you”. As a suitable answer, give them a good scratch behind the ears or on the belly to tell them you love them too – in terms they’ll understand - which is far better than food!

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