You might think it’s not possible to love your pet too much. But if you’re finding that bestowing your dog with delicious treats is leaving them a little unfit and, dare we say, on the heavy side, then perhaps now is as good a time as any to consider changing their diet to a ‘lite’ option.
Keeping Your Dog Healthy
If your dog is overweight, you’ll notice their breathing becomes heavier as their stamina drops, and they’ll be a little slower out on walks than what they once were.
Switching their diet to a lite food option can help your dog lose weight and reduce the risk of potential weight-related health problems such as arthritis, diabetes or even heart disease – all the same health problems that plague us as humans.
If your dog has a well-balanced diet to suit their unique requirements, combined with regular exercise and interactive play, the more likely they are to having a longer and better quality of life with you.
Choosing A Lite Food Option
Dry dog food, otherwise known as ‘kibble,’ is a great food option for dog’s who need to lose some excess weight.
Specifically prepared lite foods from brands such as Seven Dog Food or Royal Canin offer healthy, lean diet options with a balanced, nutritional intake. James Wellbeloved, Arden Grange and Autarky also have lite options tailored to the age and size of your pet.
It’s so important that dogs continue to receive the nutrients they need from their food especially while trying to shed a few pounds. Remember it’s weight they need to lose, not nutrients that support their overall wellbeing (we don’t want them feeling lethargic in any way).
As a guide, a dog should be fed 2 – 3% of its bodyweight each day; so your average sized medium dog at 12kg will need about 300g per meal. Of course, this rule of thumb may alter slightly for dogs needing to lose a few pounds so we recommend seeking advice from your vet in the first instance (nor is this a set rule for puppies who generally require a much larger percentage of their overall bodyweight in food each day whilst they grow and develop).
It’s not all about the food…
Just like us, dogs need to amalgamate a balanced diet with exercise to ultimately lead a well-balanced life.
Making sudden changes to diet or exercise routines could cause some issues especially in older dogs such as stomach upset, difficulty breathing or a negative effect on their overall happiness.
Switching your dog’s food to a lite option, while gradually increasing the frequency and duration of walks, will help to ensure that your pet pooch can handle this lifestyle change without suffering any discomfort.
It’s also worthwhile investing in some interactive dog toys so your dog’s activity levels are boosted in a familiar environment and at their own pace.
Remember, all dog owners should seek advice from their vet before making a significant change to their pets’ diet and/or lifestyle – it’s for their benefit.