Dog Food Plan For Overweight Dogs
By Hungry Bark | October 21, 2020
It seems like weight creeps up on you slowly and shows up all at once. One day, you realize your pants don’t fit quite right. The same thing can happen to your dog - except without the pants. We see them every day and it isn’t always obvious until we arrive at the veterinarian’s office that our dog’s body condition has changed. Suddenly, they’re now considered overweight.
Obesity is just as unhealthy in dogs as it is in people. And unfortunately, it’s becoming just as much of an epidemic.
When a dog reaches the status of overweight or obese, it’s important to note that this can happen for any number of reasons including:
- Decreased activity due to injury or illness
- Too many treats
- Begging or getting into something they shouldn’t
Obviously, it’s important to get your dog moving again with daily activity. But how do you put your dog on a diet? Dogs don’t know how to regulate their food or how to read labels. The first part of addressing the needs of your overweight dog is to talk to your vet to find out exactly how many calories your dog should be eating. The next step is to find a dog food that will keep them satisfied while allowing them to get back to their ideal body condition.
Not sure how to do that? Keep reading to learn more about what to feed your overweight dog.
What To Feed Your Overweight Dog
Placing your dog on a diet can be a little tricky. Just because your vet says that they only need to consume a certain amount of calories, doesn’t mean your dog understands why they’re suddenly getting less food. It’s important to make sure the food you are feeding your dog is nutrient-dense. Nutrient-dense foods satisfy their hunger with a smaller amount of food.
This is why the quality of food you feed your dog is so important. Dog foods stuffed with fillers for bulk require more to satisfy your dog’s hunger because they are not offering optimal nutrition. It seems counter-intuitive, but spending a little more money on dog food will save you money in the long run. Your dog will be satisfied with less food - which is healthier for them… and for your wallet.
High-quality food has higher quality ingredients that are easier to digest and have better bioavailability. Lean meats, high-quality sources of dietary fat, healthy carbohydrates, and fiber are necessary for a healthy diet. Lean meat will help support muscle growth and repair as your dog enjoys their new workout routine. Carbohydrates will give them the energy they need to get through the day, and dietary fat is necessary for immune system function, brain health, and even joint support. And, of course, fiber is necessary for optimal digestion. It helps the body absorb nutrients, and keeps the digestive system flowing properly.
Selecting The Right Dog Food
Reading the label is an important step in finding the food that is a right fit for your dog’s weight loss journey. You need to know which ingredients are most abundant in the food, the nutrient ratios, and the number of calories per cup. The first ingredients on the label are the ones that make up the bulk of the food. As you go down the list, the amount decreases. Nutrient ratios are also on the label. Protein should be the highest percentage, followed by carbohydrates, and then fat.
Lean meat should be the first ingredient on the list. Chicken or turkey are good protein sources for dogs on a diet. They have a lower fat content than lamb, duck, or beef. A secondary protein source should also be included. Chicken or turkey meal should be next on the label. Avoid food that has an unspecified meat meal listed; this is a lower quality ingredient.
Vegetables and fruit provide both healthy carbohydrates and dietary fiber. Whole ingredients contain more nutrient content than byproducts and extracts. Look for whole vegetables or fruit on the label. These will contain more fiber in addition to nutrients, making the food more filling without adding empty bulk.
Avoid any foods that contain added sugar or high fructose corn syrup. Sweeteners are unnecessary in dog food and add empty calories. They are generally added to make food more palatable. Whole meat and fruit ingredients should add enough flavor for your dog without the extra calories.
Hungry Bark Custom Meal Plan
If you aren’t sure how to proceed or just don’t have the time to read all the labels in the store, Hungry Bark can help you design a Custom Meal Plan for your dog. You start by filling out a questionnaire where you include information about your dog and concerns you may have about their health, including weight loss.
Hungry Bark will design a meal plan for your dog that includes dry food, a Protein Mix-in, and any supplements that might be beneficial. Hungry Bark allows you to schedule monthly deliveries, so you don’t need to worry about ordering every month. You can have the food delivered on your schedule making it easy to stick to this new routine.
Hungry Bark recipes are designed with the optimum health of your dog in mind. They are made with high-quality, nutrient-dense ingredients. All recipes include probiotics to aid in digestion and superfood ingredients like flaxseeds, spinach, and blueberries. Superfoods add a nutrient boost and extra health benefits like antioxidants with anti-inflammatory properties.
What’s best of all? All Hungry Bark recipes and add-ons are totally veterinarian approved. This means that a Hungry Bark meal is a great route when embarking on a weight loss journey with your pup.
Weight loss isn’t easy for people or for dogs. Good health starts with good nutrition. Get your dog on a high-quality, healthy food to jumpstart their fitness journey. Make sure you measure it, so they are getting the exact amount they need. With a few extra walks a day and a good diet, your dog will be back at their ideal weight in no time.