13 April 2021
Obesity in dogs is a serious problem that is becoming more of a concern than ever before. Up to 60% of the dog and cat population are considered overweight or obese. Overfeeding is one of the leading factors contributing to dog obesity. Overfeeding occurs when the dog is taking in more energy than it is burning. Dogs that are 10-20% above their ideal body weight are classified as overweight, and those who are higher than 20% are considered obese. Here are a few tips and tricks you should know if your dog is overweight or obese.
Overweight or obese dogs are at a greater risk for a variety of health conditions including the diminished overall quality of life of our canine friends. Here are the most common ones:
Though most cases of obesity are a result of overfeeding and a sedentary lifestyle, there are some endogenous factors that can predispose an animal to weight gain or obesity. It is important to recognize if your animal has a genetic predisposition and adjust their lifestyle accordingly.
Regular vet visits and consulting a body condition score chart is a great way to ensure your pet is at their ideal weight.
To help your dog lose weight, it is recommended to feed according to your dog’s target ideal weight rather than their current weight. It is also highly recommended to use a small kitchen scale to measure the food in grams, as this allows for a better accuracy of calorie control as opposed to rough volumetric measurements like cups.
Exercise is extremely important in ensuring your dog maintains a healthy weight. Some examples of ways to get your dog to exercise is to bring them on daily walks, hikes, or other activities such as swimming in a clean lake or pool or going to a park to play with other dogs. For indoor exercise, you may want to purchase toys that your dog enjoys playing with such as a ball, a tug or an interactive toy or feeder. An interactive feeder such as a Kong or a puzzle will stimulate your dog’s natural foraging instincts and make them work for their food. Dogs who are fed through interactive feeders are less likely to eat out of boredom and tend to eat only when they are hungry. All these options are recommended for mental stimulation as well!
If your dog is currently overweight or obese, you may want to consider switching them to a weight management formula so that they can lose weight and maintain it. Weight management formulas, such as our Care Weight Management formula, are specifically formulated to help limit weight gain and curb their appetite.
To summarize, portion control is key in helping an animal lose weight. Increasing your dog’s activity level and feeding a diet specifically formulated for weight loss is a good place to start.
Our Nutrience Care Weight Management formula is specifically formulated with low fat to limit weight gain, high fiber to curb their appetite, and L-carnitine, an important molecule needed to burn fat for energy. While dogs can make this molecule themselves for regular maintenance, supplementing it in the diet ensures an adequate supply is available to burn excess fat during times of weight loss. L-carnitine works by transporting fatty acids into the mitochondria of the cell to make them more available to burn during energy expenditure.
To reduce the fat contents of a formula while keeping the volume of food the same, fat must be replaced by another macronutrient. Replacing fat with fiber is a great choice! Why? Because fiber not only has zero calories but has digestive benefits and keeps dogs satiated for longer. Our Weight Management formula is also made using a triple blend of sustainable sources of fiber, such as sun-cured alfalfa, pea fiber and miscanthus grass. Insoluble fiber does not dissolve in water and provides bulk to the diet, keeping your dog full for longer.
Compared to a high protein diet, averaging 473 kcal/cup, our Nutrience Care Weight Management diet contains 38% less fat and 17.9% less calories to help your dog lose and maintain a healthy weight, improving their overall quality of life.
Moreover, along with the Digestiboost cubes, this food contains botanicals such as ginger, licorice root, and peppermint for their gut-soothing properties. Turmeric is added as well, a spice well known for its antioxidative and anti-inflammatory properties. Like all Nutrience formulas, Omega-3s are added to this food in the form of salmon oil and coconut oil, to maintain a healthy skin and coat.