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Latest health and behavior news and advice from the veterinarians at Tufts University.

Features May 2015 Issue

Will Keeping a Dog’s Weight Ideal Help?

Dog owners find that overweight dogs with heart disease who are trimmed down with a sound weight management plan appear to have less trouble getting around and are more comfortable breathing — no surprise there.

But what they may end up dealing with is that their dog with heart failure will not eat as much or as frequently as when she was healthy. So the goal is usually to get your dog to eat enough, not to eat less. Maintaining your dog’s interest in food can be tricky, but here are some tips.

Feed more frequent but smaller meals. Your dog may be able to eat as much as usual, or closer to as much as usual, if the food is spread out over more eating occasions.

Try different temperatures — room-temperature, warmed, cold, even frozen.

Gradually change your dog’s food since dogs like novelty. Maybe switch from dry to canned or just to a different brand of kibble.

Use low-sodium flavor enhancers such as cooked, unseasoned meat or fish; or sweeteners like yogurt, maple syrup, applesauce, or honey.

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