If your dog is fat then he/she is taking in more calories than necessary, and they are being denied a chance to live a longer, happier life. An Overweight dog is at risk of developing life threatening physical conditions and diseases. Our dogs depend on us for their food. If our dogs are overweight then we need to put them on a dog diet.
A recent survey showed that 40 percent of the pets in the US are overweight. If a dog is overweight but appears to be healthy then it is a good idea to pay a visit to the vet for a physical exam. Before considering a nutritious diet it is important to rule out any thyroid or metabolic disorders that may have gone undiagnosed. The veterinarian should be aware of how little exercise the dog gets as well as what and how much he/she is feed.
There are many commercial dog food diets that can be used, but it is important to understand and to properly interpret the ingredients of dog food labels. The first ingredients present in a bag or can of food should be meat or meat products, NOT grains such as corn. It is also important to identify the fat source and how much quantity of fat is present in the food.
Before starting a weight loss program for our dog, we should get an accurate record of his weight. Then, we should reduce his/her total daily amount of food by one third. This should include any treats and snacks. After two weeks, we shoould weigh him/her again. If after two weeks there has been some significant weight loss, then we should stick to this diet. If, however, there hasn't been any weight loss, then we must reduce the daily food intake by another third. During this time it is important not to give in to their begging, and to make sure that no other member of the family has been feeding them.
There are low calorie diets available for dogs. Some veterinarians do not like to recommend them because many of these diets are very restrictive in their fat levels. However, because of the reduced fats the carbs are increased which produces extra insulin which in turn cues the dog's body to store the unused calories as fat.
Dog food nutrition is an important factor when it comes to caring for our dogs. If we try to maintain a healthy life style for ourselves, then we should do the same for our dogs. We should always consult a veterinarian when considering a change in diet and it is a good idea to introduce new foods gradually.