By drastically reducing the daily calorie intake can lead to weight loss. Overall, most pets eventually regain most or all the weight they have lost. This is not the safest weight loss plan for overweight dogs.
The problem with extreme calorie restriction is that it alerts the body that it is in starvation mode. This in turn, forces the body to put the brakes on its metabolism. It therefore burns calories more slowly. A moderate calorie restriction with regular exercise for slow weight loss is by far a more sensible approach for overweight dogs to lose weight.
Is it as simple as feeding your dog less of their current food? Like all responsible manufacturers we design our range of foods to deliver a balance of nutrients within a certain caloric content. Just by cutting the quantity of food could put your dog at risk for nutritional deficiencies.
Firstly, determine how much weight your dog should lose. You may want to consult your vet to help with this. A good starting point is FourFriends Weight Control. This food is low in fat with a higher fibre content than a maintenance food. Remember treats have calories too. They should be counted in your dog’s daily allowance.
A good and safe rate of weight loss for dogs is 1 to 2 percent of their current body weight per week. A faster weight loss programme of more than 2 percent per week puts your dog at risk of nutritional deficiencies and, after the diet is over and subject to weight gain.
Consult with your vet if you are aiming for a loss of 2 percent of body weight per week. It is worth keeping in mind that your dog may play the hunger card by begging. If that happens, you can shift the weight loss goal to 1 percent or even 0.5 percent a week. It will just take a little longer to reach that final goal.
Over time, weight loss will slow and even level. It is important for you to schedule regular weight lose check-ins with your vets. A 30kg dog that now weights 28kg needs a lower calorific intake. Your vet should be able to help with your dog’s new daily calorie requirement.
There are huge benefits in your dog keeping a health weight. There are reduced risks of your dog developing diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure and arthritis.
In the largest international study of weight loss in overweight dogs, dogs lost an average of 11 percent over 12 weeks, while owners noticed improved activity and quality of life for their dogs.*
What could be better than more time with your best friend?