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So many dogs now suffer from obesity or carry a little more weight than they should. This may seem harmless, but in the long-term excess weight is shown to cause degenerative disease like arthritis to appear earlier in life. Extra weight also adds extra strain to the body when a dog is suffering from these degenerative conditions, so it’s best to keep our pets in their best shape for as long as we can!
So, what can you do to keep your dog at their ideal weight?
Well, we can look to their food. Your dog’s food should be balanced with the activity which they do. It’s very easy to overfeed dogs, especially if the food chosen is one which is very high in meats, protein or fats – or all three, such as 80:20 style all life stage diets. This is because these kinds of foods contain a lot of energy in a small portion, so your dogs usually only need a very small amount to meet their nutritional requirements. This makes it easy to feed too much.
A way to help your pet lose their excess weight is to feed a light dog food. Light dog food contains less calories and fat, and more fibre, meaning that your dog can feel fuller for longer. Feeding the same size portion of food to your dog, but feeding a light dog food, can hugely reduce the calories which they receive.
Another element of the diet to focus on is treats and snacks. Dog treats can contain high levels of fat and sugar, meaning that this is another big contributor to the calories which your dog eats. I’m not saying that you shouldn’t feed treats to your dog, but it is important to be treat-wise. You should check the packaging for how many treats can be given per day as part of a good balanced diet, and not go over this. It may also be a good idea for you to make some healthier substitutions in the treat department, so that the treats you are feeding aren’t taking up so much space in your dog’s daily treat allowance! Feeding some of your dog’s main meal separately as treats, or some pieces of fruit or vegetables can be a great way to give your pooch a treat without overfeeding them.
I hope that this has given you a few ideas of small changes which you can make to your dog’s diet which can have a big impact on their waistline and health! If you have any questions or you would like Charlie’s Rewarding Pet Nutrition to help you with a personal nutritional plan for your dog, tailored to your lifestyle, then please get in touch. We’d love to hear from you!