Canine obesity is the most common 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. This commonly occurs because the majority of dog owners misguidedly feed their dogs commercial dog foods. It's not your fault if you've been hoodwinked into believing that commercial dog food is best for your dog. But you do need to know that it is NOT.
Even our veterinarians are being controlled to some degree by the commercial dog food manufacturing industry. Believe it or not, vets do NOT learn much, if anything, about animal nutrition when they obtain their veterinary degree. Much of their information on nutrition comes from the commercial petfood industry. The so-called higher quality dog food which your vet most probably recommends is far from ideal. It is very unlikely to be a high quality dog food. Commercial dog foods cause a multitude of degenerative diseases in dogs - Lymes disease, heart disease in dogs, diabetes in dogs and many many more. By feeding the dog a 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 food you feed your dog. Drastic cuts in the quantity of food fed may lead to deficiencies that pose an even greater threat to the dog than the obesity does which are deficiencies of proteins, vitamins and minerals. 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.
What is needed is either a balanced raw diet in smaller quantities, or a specialized super high quality dog diet food.
The diet of an overweight dog should not contain more than 1400 calories per pound of dry matter. A more accurate and convenient way of obtaining a reducing diet is to use a dietary animal food specifically designed for that purpose. This dog diet food can be obtained online. It contains the correct number of 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 food used, the quantity of it that should be fed has to be estimated.
Portion control is the only other method of feeding that can be used during a weight reducing program. Treats should be avoided 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 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 overnight. Taking off weight too fast can be dangerous to an overweight dog. Once optimum weight has been reached, most dogs will need to be kept on portion control feeding or a good dog diet food. Dogs that tend to put on weight need to have their food intake closely regulatedon an ongoing basis, in order to prevent them from regaining the lost weight.
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