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It is not uncommon for dogs to gain a little too much weight. When dogs consume more calories than they burn off, weight gain is inevitable and statistically speaking, canine obesity is at an all-time high today.
This statistic is particularly tragic because an overweight dog is predisposed to other life-threatening health conditions such as heart disease, high blood pressure, reproductive failure, joint problems, diabetes mellitus, skin problems and an overall decreased lifespan.
So as you can see, quite literally, excessive weight gain could lead your dog to an early grave.
Apart from ingesting too many calories, there are other factors that make some dogs more prone to excessive weight gain than others.
Breed: Some dog breeds have a genetic tendency to gain excess weight.
Old Age: Dogs get less energetic with age.
Older dogs are generally not as active as puppies are.
In addition, older dogs have a slower metabolism due to aging so they are more likely to gain weight easily.
Recovery from Illness or Injury: Needless to say, a dog that is recovering from an illness or an injury will not have the energy or maybe even the physical ability to exercise as much as a healthy dog, therefore burning almost no calories.
Medication: Some medication can slow down a dog’s metabolism or increase their appetite.
Either of these can bring about weight issues.
Other health conditions: Conditions like diabetes, hypothyroidism and Cushing’s disease can contribute to pet obesity.
So what measures can you take as a dog owner to help your dog achieve a healthier lifestyle?
Start by consulting your veterinarian to find out your dog’s ideal weight.
Find out how many calories he needs per day and then, prepare a doggie diet.
It helps to go for the best weight loss dog foods with fewer calories.
These foods typically have the same bulk, but fewer calories because of increased fiber content.
Fiber has few usable calories, so your pooch will feel full without having to ingest any more calories than they actually need.
These foods also have less fat, more protein and are fortified with probiotics to help the digestive tract adjust properly to changes in diet.
Some of the best foods for weight loss include;
Nulo Adult Weight Management Cod Grain-Free Dry Food
Nulo Adult Weight Management Cod Grain-Free Dry Food has an amazing weight loss formula that is high in animal-based protein and low in carbohydrates to promote lean body mass.
It contains L-Carnitine nutrients that help the body to boost metabolism by transporting fatty acids to the mitochondria where they are burned as energy, therefore, promoting a healthy weight.
Patented BC30 probiotic aids digestion thus contributing to a healthy digestive tract.
It is also safe for sensitive pets and pets with allergies because it is a grain-free recipe with no artificial additives or colors.
Wellness Core Grain-Free, Reduced Fat Recipe
This is a reduced fat formula with rich protein sources such as chicken meal, turkey, chicken liver and turkey meal.
It is grain-free and packed with all the necessary nutrition your dog needs for a healthy, balanced diet.
Carbohydrate bulk that provides energy is catered for by sweet potatoes and potatoes in the formula.
Salmon oil in this formula helps keep the dog’s skin and coat looking great by providing omega 3 fatty acids.
It is all natural with no meat by-products, no wheat, no corn and no artificial colors and preservatives that might trigger allergies.
Taste of the Wild Grain-free, High Protein, Natural Dry Dog Food
This brand is a well-liked choice among pets and their owners alike.
And for good reason too! This particular grain-free formula includes roasted bison meat to provide the protein that your dog wants and needs for lean muscle.
Supplemented with fruits and vegetables, this formula packs antioxidants that not only support a healthy immune system but also promote a healthier lifestyle.
Zero fillers and grains means that your dog is getting top-quality ingredients to help them live a healthier life.
Merrick Grain Free Healthy Weight Recipe
This is an all-natural formula is high in protein with real deboned beef as the first ingredient.
It also contains poultry protein along with fresh fruits and veggies like peas, blueberries, sweet potatoes and more.
High levels of omega 3 and omega 6 fatty acids promote healthy skin and coats so he can feel good and look good as well.
Chondroitin and glucosamine levels in this formula foster healthy joints.
ORIJEN 6 Fish Formula, Grain-Free Dry Dog Food
As you can already tell from the name, the diversity of fish used in this formula is unmatched.
Your dog will most certainly love the flavor.
The fish ingredients make up 80% of the formula and the rest of the 20% is made up of grain-free carbohydrates, botanicals, fresh fruits, and vegetables.
Marine source Omega 3 fatty acids foster peak coat and skin conditioning.
Botanicals support a faster metabolism, eliminate toxins from the body and strengthen organs.
Pumpkin fiber in the formula assists gastrointestinal functions while calcium from alfalfa promotes strong bones.
All the above foods will help you reduce your dog’s caloric intake, which is vital in any weight loss journey and in maintaining a healthy weight for a longer, happier and healthier life.
Remember to keep the snacks and additional treats to a minimum because these are extra calories within meal times.
Eliminate habits like free choice feeding, where a lot of food is put out for the dog to eat whenever he wants.
Instead, feed him in two to three small portions per day because portion control is key.
You could also invest in a timed automatic dog feeder to ensure he has the right meal portions at specific intervals.
In conclusion, always consult with the vet, since different variables like breed and size will always come into play.