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5 Tips for Keeping Your Pet Fit and Trim

26 Nov Posted by in Health & Fitness | 10 comments

Ammo the Dachshund Studio Photos

After my vet gave me a thumbs up last week for keeping myself in tip top shape I thought it would be the perfect time to share some of my tips for keeping trim. And just in time for Thanksgiving too!

Ammo's Annual Vet Visit // Ammo the Dachshund

The ideal weight for a dog can be determined by being able to feel the ribs slightly, having an abdomen that is tucked when viewed from the side, and a visible waist behind the ribs when viewed from the top.

Tips for Keeping your Pet Trim // Ammo the Dachshund

My ideal weight for my size is around 18 pounds, and at my most recent check-up my vet could feel my ribs and I have a visible waist as seen from the photo above. It’s not easy keeping weight down (especially when you love to eat like I do), but hopefully with some of my tips you’ll be on your way to keeping your pet at a healthy weight for them!

Tip 1: Keep Active

Now I’m the first to admit that I don’t actually go on a daily walk everyday, but that doesn’t mean I’m not active!

Ammo on the Farm

I visit the family farm about 4 days a week – where I run my heart out! I enjoy running from groundhog hole to groundhog hole and I’m never in one place for very long. This sort of mental and physical stimulation help keeps me in shape.

Shop Dog // Work // Ammo the Dachshund

5 days a week I work at mom’s shop, and while it may not be an intense workout, just being active and greeting customers helps keep me on the move. I’m a strong believer that mental stimulation is just as important as physical stimulation to keep your pet fit.

ammo the dachshund at lowes

On the weekends I tend to go on one or two adventures, whether it’s a trip to lowes or a walk on the trail it’s a great way to keep me active.

Tip 2: Feed the Right Amount

Currently I eat two brands of food, Wellness Small Breed and Blue Buffalo Wilderness Small Breed, which I alternate with each bag. Both are grain free dry foods.

Tips for Keeping your Pet Trim // Ammo the Dachshund

Now you’ll notice that on the back of all dog food bags they list recommended feeding amounts:

Tips for Keeping your Pet Trim // Ammo the Dachshund

Tips for Keeping your Pet Trim // Ammo the Dachshund

Based on my ideal weight of 18 lbs both bags recommend that I eat about 1 – 1 1/2 cups of food per day. But you will also notice that both bags note that dogs are individuals and these are just recommendations, and what you should feed your dog might vary from the chart.

In actuality I eat 1/3 a cup twice a day, which is much less than the recommended amount for my weight.

Tips for Keeping your Pet Trim // Ammo the Dachshund

My mom has chosen this amount for me over the years by monitoring my weight and cutting my food back slowly until she found an appropriate amount that was able to keep me at a healthy weight. She watches my waist line closely and always cuts my food back if it starts to look a little less trim.

Tips for Keeping your Pet Trim // Ammo the Dachshund

This amount of food might not look like enough to you, but you have to remember that us dogs keep food in our bellies for a long time. (Evident by the fact that hours upon hours after eating we can still throw up some pretty undigested food….yuck!)

When in doubt about how much you should feed your dog, you should always consult your veterinarian.

Tip 3: Take a Class

Ammo practices Dog Agility on his DIY Agility Jumps 2012

Typically once a week I take a dog agility class at my local training center. This helps keep me fit and keeps me thinking and learning too!

Taking any sort of class, even just a basic obedience class, is a great way to keep your dog active. Not just for puppies, any dog, any age, can benefit from training classes!

Tip 4: Use Treats Sparingly

Kong Premium Treats Product Review & Giveaway // Ammo the Dachshund

I review a lot of treats on the blog, but that doesn’t mean that I’m allowed to have them whenever I want. Mom keeps a tight watch on the cookie jar and I’m only allowed to have small treats when we are training.

I also try to keep most of the treats I eat on the healthy end of the scale, like eating sweet potato treats.

Tip 5: Limit Table Scraps

dachshund food

As a general rule I’m not allowed to have table scraps (although that doesn’t stop me from trying). The only exception to this rule is when mom will let me have bits of apple and carrots when she’s cutting them up. But for the most part it’s best for me just to eat the food that was designed for dogs.

So I hope you enjoyed my tips for keeping your pet fit and trim! Here’s to hoping we all live long and healthy lives!Ammo the Dachshund

Disclosure: This is supposed to be a general guide on how I keep myself fit, but you may need to consult your veterinarian as to what and how much to feed & exercise your own pet. Each pet is different!

  1. Mr Lenny11-26-13

    Ammo…we have the same lifestyle…and I follow the same regimen. You are very kind to share your diet and exercise schedule with other doxie parents. Some mom &dads just do not know how to keep a dachshund in tip top shape and your tips will definitely help others who need it :)…enjoyed my mom reading yours to me!

  2. Jennifer Kready04-24-16

    We received top paws from our vet, for our health and weight, this week too. We walked at least once or twice a day and hike every weekend. We want to be healthy ‘just in case’ we’re afflicted by IVDD. We were at the Buda Wiener Races this weekend and surprised to see so many ‘sausages’.

  3. Robyn Owens-Miille04-24-16

    My male doxie is overweight. He weighs about 34 pounds and he should be 26. He has been on a diet for 4 years! He gets 1/3 cup dry food and 1/3 cup of cooked veggies (green beans, squash, carrots) twice a day. The vet had us add the veggies because he was acting like he was starving to death. He does not get table scraps and gets 2 small treats a day. Any other recommendations? He doesn’t do much for activity. He can only go about 2-3 blocks before he’s too tired to walk further. The vet is checking his thyroid levels.

    • Allison McMahan04-26-16

      Honestly, that sounds like a lot of food for a doxie that needs to lose almost 10lbs, but I’ve found that there’s no magic number when it comes to calories. Both doxies that I’ve adopted overweight lost weight on Castor and Pollux Organix Weight Management and several short walks a day. And by short, I mean just four or five houses down and back. Doing this three or four times a day really helps to keep them moving without overdoing it.

    • Ammo the Dachshund04-26-16

      Exercise in my life has always been very important to keeping trim. Swimming would be a great way to burn some calories in a low impact way – and many boarding places have indoor pools you can take your dog to. You could also try a wobble board: taking small steps daily to build up activity level is the best way to start! 😊good luck!

  4. Glenda Liz04-24-16

    My dogs love Wellness.

  5. Pamela Cleckler Wilson04-24-16

    Went to the Vet yesterday and got a also.

  6. Jennifer Hite04-24-16

    Thanks for the tips buddy❤

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