Excess weight and canine obesity are serious problems that are increasingly prevalent in our society. This is related to:
- Lack of physical exercise.
- Other factors: genetics, endocrine disorders or an illness that limit the dog’s physical activity, medication, age, sterilisation, etc.
In their most recent study, the Association for Pet Obesity Prevention warned that more than 56% of domestic dogs are either overweight or obese in the US. In Spain, there are studies suggesting that the figure is around 30%. So, as you can see, it’s a serious problem.
When the issue of excess weight is not linked to a health issue, the primary cause is simple: too many calories. That’s why the ideal solution is a light kibble for dogs, specially formulated to help your dog maintain his optimum weight.
The consequences of excess weight in dogs
Excess weight is not something to be taken lightly. If your dog is overweight, remember that this means he’ll be more likely to suffer from:
- Respiratory diseases
- Joint disorders
Being overweight can also impact on some of his day to day activities, meaning that he may get less enjoyment from his walks, time spent with other dogs, games, etc.
Lastly, you need to bear in mind that an overweight dog has a shorter life expectancy than one who stays at a healthy weight.
Avoiding excess weight: daily exercise and the right diet
The best way to combat obesity or excess weight in dogs is through:
- Diet: reduce his calorie intake
- Exercise: make sure he has a good daily exercise plan.
Of course, the first thing you need to do is to rule out any physical cause. Diseases such as hypothyroidism, diabetes, etc. could be the root of the problem. If this is the case, it’s essential to follow the vet’s recommendations to the letter.
Light kibble, part of the solution
If your dog is overweight, remember that it’s not simply a question of reducing his calorie intake, but one of making sure he has a balanced diet that will avoid any nutritional deficiencies, feelings of dissatisfaction, worries about food, or hunger.
This is where the choice of a light kibble formulated for weight control in adult dogs (never puppies!) who have a tendency to put on weight comes in. It needs to be filling, tasty and low in calories.
This type of food is designed to provide all the nutrients that your dog needs to stay healthy, while at the same time as helping him not to put on weight.
The nutritional qualities and benefits of light dog food
ULTIMA’s light kibble is specially formulated both to control weight and to maintain muscle mass. These are the nutritional qualities of our light recipes:
- Low fat content: helps to reduce the energy content of food. But at the same time always making sure that it’s as tasty as possible, so that your dog will enjoy his meals.
- High protein content: proteins are what support the development and maintenance of muscle mass, as well as being a source of the amino acids that are essential to most organisms.
- High vegetable fibre content: contributes to good digestion, and is filling as well, which is great for helping to prevent your dog from putting on weight.
- Nutrients that speed up the breakdown of fatty acids: L-carnitine, for example, which has ‘fat-burning’ properties.
- Vitamins and minerals: a fundamental part of a balanced diet.
Guidelines on how to tackle your dog's excess weight
As we’ve already said, there are essentially three important things you need to consider when tackling the problem of your dog’s excess weight:
- Rule out any physical cause (disease). If you discover that the root of the problem is physical, then seek appropriate treatment.
- Feed your dog a balanced diet: give him the right amount of the right type of food.
- Make sure he gets daily exercise.
Light kibble is a good choice of diet for controlling your dog’s weight, as we’ve seen. But do remember that in order for your weight control plan to be successful, it’s essential to follow the recommended daily portion sizes indicated on the packet.
It’s a good idea to divide the daily amount into several servings, so that your dog won’t feel hungry between feeds, and also to avoid problems with stomach cramps. If you want to give him a snack or a treat, you’ll need to make sure that this is a low calorie one too.
If you think that your dog has a tendency to put on weight, it’s best to speak to your vet to identify the cause, and so that s/he can recommend a suitable diet and exercise plan for your four-legged friend.