If you have a dog, then you've probably seen those big brown eyes staring at you intently as you do things like cook and eat. Those big brown puppy dog eyes may even get to you from time to time, so you drop a little something down for him to snack on, because one little piece won't hurt him - but will it? Day after day of giving just a little piece of this and a little piece of that can add up, and add weight to your furry buddy. This added weight can cause injury to your dog, such as knee, hip and joint pain. Get your dog to lose those few extra pounds without feeling guilty by following the tips below.

Wean Slowly

Slowly wean your dog off of the amount of dog food you feed to your furry buddy each day. If you feed two cups twice per day, begin to cut it back to one and a half cups in the morning and two cups in the evening. Do this for a day or two, then cut it to one and a half cups twice per day. Be sure to ask your dog's veterinarian about the proper amount of food you should be feeding your dog. 

Stop Giving Table Scraps

If you constantly give table scraps to your dog, stop. Those table scraps may be harmful to your pup, not just because it's causing excess weight gain, but some foods aren't good for your dog. Foods such as potato peels, onions, fatty meats, sodium and grapes/raisins are all bad for your dog. If you just can't deny your dog those scraps, make him go sit in another room while you eat or cook.

Start Exercising

Begin walking your dog each day to give him a bit of extra exercise. It will not only help shed a few pounds for your pup, but will help you as well. You can also invest in some fun dog toys such as the Chuck-It, which allows you to throw a tennis ball extra far away. Get your dog into shape playing fetch. He won't even know he's exercising; he'll just be happy to be playing with you.

Make Special Treats

Make a few special treats for your furry friend that are both healthy and tasty. Make some peanut butter, banana and oat treats using:

  • 3 cups oats
  • 2 ripe bananas (mashed)
  • 1/4 cup peanut butter
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil

Combine all ingredients into a mixing bowl, then --using a floured surface-- flatten the mixture and cut into different shapes (if you prefer) using cookie cutters. Place into a preheated oven (350 degrees) and bake for 10-12 minutes until golden brown. Give these treats to your puppy as a snack. The ingredients are all good for your dog; just be sure to give them in moderation.

Getting your dog to lose weight can happen; just do so slowly and be sure to add exercise. Click here to learn more about pet nutrition.