Low-fat dog food diets come by different names such as slimming diet, weight control diet, weight reduction dog food, weight reduction diet or low energy diet. It’s never too late to switch to a low-fat dog food or to follow the alternative weight loss method that I’ll describe next. Dogs aren’t meant to be couch potatoes and you can help the happy dog that once lived inside to come out and play again.
Did you know that when your dog weighs 10% more than he actually should, he’s already overweight?
Characteristics Of A Low Fat Dog Food
- Lowered fat percentage whilst keeping the required amount of essential fatty acids.
- Higher crude ash content of 7 to 8%. This reduces digestibility which results in larger amounts of soft stool as it also attracts moist.
- Usually less palatable because of reduced fat content and more crude ash. This can be compensated by a higher percentage of protein.
- Because of the raised crush ash content your dog can eat more (weight wise) as compared to regular dog food. This is an advantage for your dog but it has a disadvantage as well. Your dog won’t get used to eating smaller portions. When you switch back to his regular diet it can be difficult to maintain his weight (and not to increase in size again).
The reason why your pet has become overweight is always the same: the energy intake was higher than required for prolonged periods of time. When a dog gets overweight he will exercise less, get tired faster and perhaps also sleep more. This results in a slow metabolism. His body then needs fewer calories because of this “relaxed” behavior. This way dogs can become obese and eat next to nothing in the end, whilst remaining fat.
Did you know that 30 to 35% of all dogs is too fat?
Is There An Alternative To Low Fat Dog Food?
An alternative to low-fat dog food is to keep feeding your overweight pooch the same dog food as usual, but with the following guidelines:
- Estimate your dog’s ideal weight (when in doubt, ask your vet) and calculate how much kiloJoules he should be getting daily. Then determine the amount in grams of dog food.
- Feed your dog 50% of this amount if he needs to lose weight fast and give 75% for gradual weight loss (recommended).
- Divide this daily amount into 4 or 5 portions and give these to your dog spread out through the day. This way you and your dog will keep the moments of contact and care that you are used to. By feeding small portions his stomach will gradually shrink, whilst his metabolism remains active.
- Stimulate weight loss by gradually (!) increasing the amount of exercise your dog gets. It’s important to take things slowly and to gradually adjust your dog to this. It will get better every week as long as you don’t rush things. Don’t go for a 2-hour walk with an obese dog, when he’s used to just cross the street and go back.
It will take Fido about 2-3 days to get used to the reduced energy intake. You could supplement his dog food with green beans so he can have a full stomach during this transition process. When your dog has reached a normal weight than you can switch to 100% and your dog will have a better condition at this time. You can run and play with him and then the occasional (!) snack won’t do any harm. In any case… do something about your dog’s overweight, otherwise, he’s held prisoner by his own body!
Where To Find Weight Management Dog Food?
Although you can conveniently order diet dog food online, you still need veterinarian approval in order to purchase prescription dog food. When you buy this online all necessary information will be collected and a prescription will be verified if required.
Examples Of Low Fat Dog Foods
You Can Choose From Different Dog Food Brands
DRY DOG FOOD FOR WEIGHT LOSS
Hill’s Prescription Diet r/d Canine Weight Reduction – Chicken may be prescribed for the nutritional management of obesity, diabetes mellitus and hyperlipidemia in adult dogs.
Royal Canin Canine Weight Control Dry is a highly palatable and digestible diet specifically formulated for large breed adult dogs predisposed to weight gain and joint sensitivities.
Blue Natural Veterinary Diet WU Weight Management + Urinary Care is specifically formulated to support weight loss, weight maintenance and urinary health in dogs.
Purina ONE SmartBlend Healthy Weight Formula Dry Dog Food contains natural sources of glucosamine to help maintain healthy joints.
CANNED DOG FOOD FOR WEIGHT LOSS
Royal Canin Canine Weight Control Can is a highly palatable and digestible diet specifically formulated to provide optimal nutrition for adult dogs predisposed to weight gain. It is a high-protein formula that will boost metabolism and preserve lean muscle in dogs. The food contains added omega-3 fatty acids and L-carnitine to accelerate your pet’s metabolism.
BLUE Natural Veterinary Diet WU Weight Management + Urinary Care For Dogs This dog food is formulated to support weight loss, weight maintenance and urinary health in dogs. It contains moderate levels of fat and calories, increased dietary fiber and limits the formation of struvite and calcium oxalate uroliths.
These are just some examples of dog food for the obese dog. If your dog has been diagnosed with obesity you should ask your vet how to best feed him and ask about prescription dog food.
However, remember all the rules in choosing the best dog food for your furry friend. One rule is that your dog will have to eat this food, so if he really dislikes the shape, smell or taste then even the most expensive prescription dog food is not the best dog food for your tail-wagger.
What else is on the menu?
Handpicked related content:
- Health risks of fat dogs (from slightly overweight to obese).
- What is canine diabetes and how can you recognize the signs?
- When you dog already has diabetes, then read about diabetic dog food.