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Bad habits such as lack of exercise or inadequate nutrition have caused around half of the dogs registered in Europe to be overweight. Excess fat can be highly detrimental to the health of our dog, so we want to show you how to choose a feed for overweight dogs that really works.
From AnimalWised we will give you the keys to make the right choice of food for your overweight dog and, thus, help him improve his quality of life and health.You may also be interested in: Recipes for overweight dogs Index
- Avoid false advertising: light feed is not always light
- Focus on ingredient labeling
- Grain-free feed, and without carbohydrates?
- Do a little bit of your part and help your dog lose weight
Avoid false advertising: light feed is not always light
Strange as it may seem, most commercial dog food brands use the word "light" in ranges that simply contain a little less fat than usual or even a lower percentage of protein, without giving too much importance to the rest of ingredients. Dogs are mainly carnivorous animals and, as such, they must have a diet that is mainly based on meat, so we must never make the mistake of thinking that a feed with a low level of protein is better for our dog, whether or not it has overweight.
A strategy widely used by companies to mislead consumers is to lower the percentage of protein and fat in certain dog foods, then adding the category "light". Nevertheless, proteins are not the cause that our dog is overweight, but the excess of carbohydrates in combination with lack of exercise. It is actually a very simple mathematical sum, if a dog eats more calories than he spends, he will transform them into fat.
Carbohydrates are an almost instantaneous source of energy for both dogs and humans, the problem is that if they are not used up, the body transforms them into fat and stores them. So use a good quality feed for our furry friend, containing a low amount of calories, fat and carbohydrates and a greater supply of fiber, It is the most recommended to start helping our dog to lose weight. A good example might be Beef and Vegetables by NFNatcane.
Fiber promotes intestinal transit and, therefore, helps the overweight dog lose those extra pounds more quickly. On the other hand, L-carnitine is a substance that also enhances fat burning, so when choosing the best food it is also interesting to observe if this supplement is found in its composition..
We must avoid focusing on the false advertising that they offer us through television, magazines or radio and inform ourselves about the food that we are giving our friend to choose a good feed for overweight dogs. Because we may be the ones to blame for your obesity without even knowing it.
Focus on ingredient labeling
We have the advantage that the law requires manufacturers to include ingredients in their products ordered from highest to lowest quantity. A dog food that contains wheat, corn or any other cereal as the first ingredient is indicating that the most abundant ingredient in its formulation is cereal. In this way, we must focus on finding food for our dog whose first ingredients are always meat, such as chicken meat, beef or lamb meat. Likewise, we must avoid at all costs labels containing animal by-products, animal derivatives or animal flours, since they are of very low quality.
Avoid being deceived with cereal derivatives, there are many brands of dog food that, in order not to put a cereal as the first ingredient, divide it into derivatives so that they go unnoticed. For example:
- "Chicken meat 30%, corn 20%, peas 15%, corn gluten 14%, eggs 12%, corn protein 10%, fruits ... ". ¿Did you think that this feed contains mainly meat? If we add corn and its derivatives (corn, corn gluten and corn protein) it gives us 44%, that is, we will be feeding our dog practically corn.
Dogs use carbohydrates for energy, but if we administer them in excess then they begin to gain weight, that is why many times and without knowing it, we are the ones to blame for our dog becoming fatter and obese.
Grain-free feed, and without carbohydrates?
There is a trend in the world of dog food to offer grain-free feed, making us believe that this way our dogs will eat higher quality products. However, what they do not tell us is that if they don't use cereals, they will use tubers or legumes, They also contain high amounts of carbohydrates. By this, we do not mean that grain-free feed is harmful, far from it, but that it may not be the most suitable for obese dogs, and then we will see why.
We must start by accepting that an adequate level of carbohydrates in our dog's diet is not something negative, but rather healthy. The downside is abusing carbohydrates or using poor quality ingredients. If you look at the ingredient label of grain-free feed, you will see that they are either using root vegetables such as potato or sweet potato, or they are using legumes such as lentils, chickpeas or beans. So they are not eliminating carbohydrates, they are simply changing the carbohydrate source for less conspicuous ones..
Rice is the best cereal that a feed can contain, followed by potatoes as a tuber or legumes. However, we should not feed our overweight dog with a feed that contains more rice, potatoes or any type of legume than meat.. Meat must always be the main ingredient of their diet.
Do a little bit of your part and help your dog lose weight
Dogs love to eat, it is one of their passions along with sleeping and playing. That is why we must help them a little in the task of losing the excess fat they have. The first step is feed them strictly with the recommended amount by the manufacturer. In this sense, the use of a kitchen scale can help us to calculate exactly the ration of feed that our dog should eat each day.
The second step is not to give him anything from our food that could further aggravate the situation. They look at us with little eyes so that we can give them a little ..., but if we give them, we will be helping them to gain even more weight. If we want to supplement the feed for overweight dogs with our own diet, we will choose the previously mentioned cooked meats or vegetables suitable for them, also boiled. Likewise, we will never mix the feed with homemade food, since it could cause digestive problems for the animal..
The third step is exercise them, Going out for a run or bike ride with them is a great way for them to exercise and lose weight easily. With the exception of puppies and older dogs, which we should not force to exercise, they will simply need long walks to burn fat.
By learning to correctly choose a good diet for our dog and doing a little exercise with him, we will help him lose that excess weight that can harm his health so much.