Having one or more pet dogs brings along a bucketful of physical as well as financial responsibility. If you also have to fend for an overweight dog, your challenges can grow in size and perhaps even raise your own blood pressure, particularly if you are shopping for low-fat dog treats or other dog treats to fight overweight of your dog.
Fighting obesity or overweight is not confined to humans and even the canines can suffer from this problem due to a variety of reasons. The task need not upset your routine or spoil your moods since plenty of quality information is available from the digital world to help you along the way. To help you further, we have culled out the following tips to find low-fat dog treats or just dog treats.
Functional ingredients and smaller portions
The concept of smaller portion plays out well with human food. But when it comes to canine food, you need to think in terms of mini portions of popular candies and incorporate functional ingredients like vitamins and antioxidants. This would potentially mean that you take a few extra minutes reading the labels on the dog treats and ensuring that you are getting what’s best for your pet.
Understand the healthy treats
All healthy treats are not made like and label by itself cannot make the treat healthy for your dog, particularly when you have an overweight dog. The impact on mobility will be significantly higher than humans when the canine is overweight. Possibly you have noticed the ease with which slender dogs move around at jet speed when needed. Opposed to this, an overweight dog will have great difficulty reacting to situations that warrant quick action. Further excess fat can also shorten the life span of your dog.
The calories hold the key
When you are shopping for low-fat dog treats for your overweight dog, the important factor is to look for the calories. When you feed lesser calories, you are helping your dog and yourself too. Similarly, you should focus on fewer carbohydrates and more protein in your dog treat. The ratio between protein and fats is more important than even the calories. Actually, your dog does not need carbohydrates while protein helps him build lean muscles.
Keep off high-fiber treats
High fibre is the part of carbohydrates that cannot be digested and does not satisfy your dog’s needs in any manner and excess of such high-fibre can even impact nutrient absorption. Grains are rich in fibre and therefore avoiding grain-based treats and turning to low carb high protein treats is the way to go.
Home-made treats and food
When you are fighting the problem of overweight with your canine, it is always desirable to feed him/her only on homemade food and treats. Perhaps you can even significantly reduce the frequency of treats to just one or two in a day. A home-made diet gives you plenty of flexibility in manipulating the content to meet the specific target of weight loss for the dog. Some dog owners replace a big part of the regular diet with green beans or non-starchy vegetarian options. But, this is not the right approach to reduce the weight of your overweight dog.
Focus on the right fats
Recent studies have shown that fish oil and omega-3 fatty acids are helpful in promoting weight loss while helping the canine feel satisfied. You can also shop for cod liver oil which can provide added health benefits like Vitamin A and D. But when you add oil to your dog’s diet, you should also remember that oils represent pure fat and every teaspoon adds some 40 calories. Most fish oil products also tend to deliver more calories than the label states.
Reducing the portion size
Reducing the portion size is important for your dog’s weight loss goal. But, you should not be making overnight changes making the portions too small. The gradual reduction in portion size is the way to go. Keep a tab of your dog’s weight on a weekly basis and see how he/she progresses. If you don’t notice any significant changes, reduce the portion size further by about 5% and keep doing this till you can see perceptible change. Sudden reduction in portion size will impact the metabolism of your dog and losing weight will be even harder when this happens. Long term success can be achieved by being steady.
Similarly, when you switch to a high protein/fat diet compared to the current diet for your dog, you should cut the quantity by about a third as nutrient-rich food will add more calories even in smaller portions. With more calories, your dog will feel satisfied even with smaller quantities. The frequency of giving small portions can be increased when necessary and you can even replace certain dry food with fresh or canned high protein items so the dog gets the feeling that he/she is getting a special treat.
Get your family involved
Let all members of your family know that your dog is overweight and his/her diet should be administered with greater care. Avoid feeding leftovers from breakfast or other meals and limit the number of snacks and treats across the day. Let every member of the family know about the diet plan and understand bringing down your dog’s weight is an essential goal for everyone.