All dog owners want what’s best for their pets but, often enough, they cannot resist the urge of feeding their pets an extra portion of food. Whether it’s out of too much love or simply because you cannot handle the puppy eyes, overfeeding your dog could not only lead to obesity but also to more serious health problems.
Unfortunately, most of the commercial food sold in stores won’t help you too much either when it comes to looking after your dog’s weight. Most affordable brands include alarming quantities of “empty calories” from products such as soy, meat by-products, corn, wheat or fats.
So, if you’re looking for some good advice on dog food for weight loss, here is everything you need to know about the subject.
Ask the Vet
The first thing you need to do if you think your dog is gaining weight fast is to talk to the vet. Only a doctor could determine whether or not your dog simply eats more or is dealing with a more serious health problem. A bloated stomach is not necessarily the result of eating too much but can hide a series of health problems that need to be thoroughly investigated.
Choose only one member to be in charge of your dog’s food
If you have a big family, then chances are high that more than one member is feeding the dog. In most cultures, giving food is a sign of love but, unfortunately, this practice could lead to serious consequences in the long term. Thus, it would be best to vote for just one member to be in charge of your dog’s diet.
We know that sad puppy eyes and drooling at your food can help you easily give in, but you need to be stronger than this. Most dogs don’t know when to stop eating and this is why it is dangerous if each of the family members feeds the pet.
If this task is not possible, at least you should try to make sure that your dog is only fed light snacks and treats. A fresh fruit or a low-calorie biscuit represents the perfect choice to please everyone.
Follow the feeding instructions
Most owners opt for commercial food which, luckily, comes with strict instructions on how and when to feed your dog. You should carefully read the label and offer your dog as much food as required for its own size, breed, weight, and age.
However, keep in mind that some dog breeds like Pugs, Siberian Huskies or French Bulldogs are more prone to overweight and obesity problems, so the food-per-dog-pound formula is not always the most accurate way to calculate the right amount of food.
As a general rule, if your dog is a senior or has a tendency of easily gaining weight, don’t exceed 60-70% of the daily amount of food indicated by the product label. And, if you still have doubts, consulting a veterinarian is always a good option.