How to stop obesity in dogs

Obesity is the most common dog nutritional disease in American dogs today. It is the result of simply eating more calories than are burned. Dogs have a built-in protection against this disease, a control mechanism in their brains that satisfies their hunger after they have eaten enough calories to meet their daily energy needs.

However, it is possible to upset this control mechanism. By feeding the dog a dog food that is highly palatable, he will eat to satisfy his appetite and not his hunger. The only way to remove the excessive fat from a dog’s body is by reversing the way it was put on, which is feeding the dog fewer calories than he will burn for energy. When this is done, the dog’s body will burn up energy stored in his body to obtain what he needs.

Fat is the most efficient source of energy and will be used in the greatest amount whenever energy is needed. A reduction in caloric intake cannot be achieved by just cutting down the quantity of dog food you feed your dog. Drastic cuts in the quantity of dog food fed will only lead to deficiencies that pose an even greater threat to the dog than the obesity does which are deficiencies of proteins, vitamins and minerals key dog nutritions that keep him healthy. It will also make your dog ravenously hungry! Fats and carbohydrates that contain the most calories should be replaced by ingredients that are less digestible and lower in calories.

The diet of an overweight dog should not contain more than 1400 calories per pound of dry dog food. This is approximately 1250 to 1300 calories per pound of dry dog food or 330 to 350 calories per pound of canned dog food. A more accurate and convenient way of obtaining a reducing diet is to use a dietary dog food specifically designed for that purpose. This food can be obtained from a vet. It contains 330 calories per pound and is balanced to provide the correct amount of other nutrients for the dog when fed at that caloric density. Whatever the dog food used, the quantity of it that should be fed has to be estimated.

Portion control is the only method of feeding that can be used during a weight reducing program. A dog food Treat or supplement should not be given during the reduction program. If a dog is more than 10 pounds overweight, (over his ideal body weight) begin your weight reducing program by feeding him only 2/3 the quantity calculated to maintain his desired weight. The full amount of dog food should be given once a reduction in weight begins to occur.

For dogs that are less than 10 lb overweight, begin with the full amount calculated. In dogs weighing less than 10 pounds, use the two-thirds guide for any dog that is more than 33% of his desired weight overweight. It may require several months or longer before a dog reaches his optimum weight. Do not expect your dog to lose the weight in just a few days. Taking off weight too fast can be dangerous to a fat dog. Once optimum weight has been attained, most dogs will have to be kept on portion control feeding. Dogs that tend to get fat need to have their intake closely regulated to prevent them from gaining back the lost weight.