Dieting Tips for Dogs

overweight dog

overweight dog

Are you concerned that your dog has put on too much weight? Before you introduce a diet to encourage weight loss, take a look at our dieting tips.

Breeds That Are Prone to Weight Gain

Some dog breeds have a tendency to put on weight, including dachshunds, Cavalier King Charles Spaniels, beagles, Cocker Spaniels, Basset Hounds, labradors, golden retrievers, rottweilers, Newfoundlands, Saint Bernards and Bernese Mountain Dogs. That’s not to say that these breeds won’t lose weight, but they are never going to be as slender as a greyhound, for example.

Talk to Your Vet

Speak to your vet if you are worried about your dog’s weight. He or she can rule out any medical conditions that may be contributing to the problem.

Starting a Doggy Diet

If health problems have been ruled out, it’s time to put your dog on a diet to tackle weight gain.

Cutting your dog’s mealtime portions by around 15 per cent can go a long way towards helping your dog to reach a healthier weight. If you are not sure how far you should go in reducing your pet’s portions, your vet can recommend an ideal target number of calories that should be cut in line with your dog’s size and body weight. Your dog will probably beg for their usual quota of food and it’s important not to give in to this – however large the puppy dog eyes may be!

Your dog’s basic diet may not actually be the main problem. In many cases, snacks and treats can be a far bigger culprit for becoming overweight. If your dog is used to being given lots of goodies, it’s not realistic to cut these out of their life completely. Swap to healthier alternatives though such as vegetables or rice cakes.

Prescription Diets

Your vet may advise you to put your dog on a special prescription diet to aid weight loss and maintain a healthy weight. This type of diet is low in calories and high in fibre and protein to keep your dog feeling fuller for longer. Your dog’s size, age and general health will usually have a significant impact on the type of prescription food that should be given so it’s not advisable to go ahead with one of these diets without talking things through with your vet first.

Some of the most common prescription diets include:

Hills prescription diet r/d : A weight loss diet with proven results, which is available in wet or dry varieties. It is a low calorie diet with high fibre levels to promote “fullness”. Once target weight is reached, this is a complete diet that prevents weight gain and promotes weight control.

Royal Canin Obesity Management is designed to reduce excess body weight to reach an appropriate target weight. It is available in both wet and dry formats. For a dry diet, Royal Canin Weight Control provides an adequate calorie intake to prevent weight gain, plus high protein levels for lean muscle mass.

Purina Veterinary Diets OM (Overweight Management) is a complete, balanced diet to reduce body weight in overweight pets. It is a low calorie, low fat and high fibre diet with a high protein to calorie ratio.

Have you had to put your dog on a diet? Share your tips in the comments section below!

[Picture Credit: Jason Pier in DC]