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Although there are a lot of foods that are marketed specifically for weight loss, not all of them are created equally. If the pet food label says “lite”, “diet” or “reduced calorie”, it does not necessarily mean that it is the best choice as most of these diets contain a lot of non-digestible fibers and carbohydrates to create a more bulky low calorie food which will make your dog feel full for a short time. Your dog will be hungry more often and end up putting on weight as it is not possible for the owners to withhold food when their dogs are begging constantly.What should you go for?
Weight loss can be achieved by feeding less of your dog’s regular diet to him. This is very effective on dogs that are moderately overweight. Most of these regular diets are dense in calories and contain anywhere between 400 to 500 calories per can or cup, which makes it easy for you to overfeed your dog. If your dog is seriously overweight, the food must not have more than 350 calories per cup, must have a high protein content, low fat and carbohydrate levels so that you can control the overall calorie count. If you are going to feed your dog food that is high in calories, you need to feed them smaller amounts. This will not satisfy your dog’s hunger and he will end up begging for more.Why is a high protein diet good for weight loss?
- A high protein diet fills your dog’s stomach faster, which means that he will beg less, which will make it easier for you to stick to the diet plan.
- A high protein diet is excellent for combating the muscle loss which is common during dieting. When your dog is on a diet, his body will end up burning both muscle and fat for energy. While the goal is to make him lose fat, that is usually not the case. Opting for a high protein diet will help in preserving the lean muscle mass.
- A diet that is high in protein and low in carbohydrate content will have lesser fiber compared to other weight loss diets. Pet food manufacturers often add fiber to the diet to make your dog feel fuller. This decreases the palatability of the food and increases the stool volume.
Avoid diets that contain unhealthy fillers, like sugars, by-products or excessive fillers. Artificial additives – dyes, colors, digests, flavors – and preservatives – BHT, BHA, ethoxyquin – must be avoided at all costs. If you are unsure about the additives in the product, contact the manufacturer for more information. If you are having difficulty deciding, work with the veterinarian to formulate a diet plan based on your dog’s ideal body weight.