Today, dogs are fatter than ever. It’s now estimated that 45% of all U.S. dogs are either overweight or obese.1
That’s 35 million dogs.
What’s worse, obesity can be life-threatening, too. An overweight dog is more likely to suffer from a disabling medical condition like…
- Heart disease
- Lung disorders
- High blood pressure
- Immune dysfunction
- Cancerous tumors
A recent study proves that dogs maintaining ideal body weight live almost two years longer (and with significantly less disease) than their overweight siblings.2
An overweight dog is more likely to die at a younger age.
In other words, you can add nearly two extra years to your dog’s life just by maintaining your pet’s ideal weight.
It seems it should be easy to diet a dog. But for most house pets, it’s not that easy. Most owners find that feeding their dog is a bonding experience, and they derive pleasure from seeing their dogs enjoy a tasty meal or special treat. They find it uncomfortable to ignore begging behavior, and tend to add a little more or give a handout “just this once.” Nonetheless, you can help your dog maintain a healthy weight without being an ogre about it.
First, many dogs are fed free choice — which means food is available 24 hours a day. So, the dog eats whenever it wants.
Free choice feeding is completely unnatural for any mammal. And (just like us humans), a dog will eat when bored — instead of just when hungry. Make the moment of feeding one you both look forward to, a moment you can share together.
Second, it’s critical to actually measure your dog’s food. Never guess. Dispensing the exact amount of food called for your dog's weight, age and level of activity,
Last, for successful weight maintenacne, choose a quality dog food with…
A higher protein content helps a dog feel more satisfied with less begging. This makes it easier for you to stick to the diet.
These products also help combat muscle loss… an unwelcome side effect with dieting.6
Lower calories allows your dog to eat more and still lose weight.
You can achieve a good high protein weight loss diet by combining a high quality commercial dog food with low-calorie home-cooked foods, provided they are accomplished with the help of dog nutritionist.
Then, make sure you always building int time to keep you dog moving. Take a walk. Run. Play fetch. Swim. Climb the stairs. Provide at least 30 minutes of brisk exercise every day to keep you dog's metabolism humming.
Excerpts from Dog Food Advisor and American Kennel Club.
- Association for Pet Obesity Prevention, Calabash, NC ↩
- Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association, Vol. 220 No. 9, May 1, 2002, pp. 1315-1320 ↩
- Average protein: 29% (dry) and 40% (canned) ↩
- Average fat: 16% (kibble) and 23% (canned) ↩
- 250-350 calories per 8-ounce cup kibble or per 13-ounce can ↩
- Diez, M et al (2002), “Weight Loss in Obese Dogs: Evaluation of a High-Protein, Low-Carbohydrate Diet”, American Society for Nutritional Sciences, Journal of Nutrition, 132: 1685S–1687S, 2002 ↩