Over-Weight Dogs

Daily Calorie Estimates

Keeping dogs lean is the only proven intervention to increase both the quantity and quality of life
— Applied Veterinary Clinical Nutrition. Wiley
  • Lean dogs have longer lives

    • Median life span was significantly longer for dogs in which food was restricted. [1]

  • Lean dogs have healthier lives

    • “diet restriction also was associated with a longer median time to first treatment of osteoarthritis (the most common chronic disease among dogs in this study) and a longer median time to first treatment of any chronic condition.” [1]

  • Overweight dogs and cats have an increased risk for urinary stone formations. [2]

“Weight gain could indicate medical conditions such as hypothyroidism and Cushing’s disease, or that you are overfeeding him.” [3]

Thyroid Problems in Dogs

HOW TO CHOOSE DOG FOOD

Carbohydrates

The problem with dry dog and cat foods are the high carbohydrates. Many veterinarians and nutritionist recommend if your dog or cat is overweight cut the carbs!

"Calorie restriction—but not protein restriction should be pursued in overweight animals to achieve a slow rate of weight loss of 0.5% to 1% weekly." ... "Diets high in protein appear superior to those with moderate amounts of protein"

Limiting dietary carbohydrate is an important component of metabolic control for weight loss. There are three key advantages to limiting dietary carbohydrate to 20% (DM) or less: 1) lower glycemic index, 2) metabolic shift from energy storage to energy usage and 3) increased satiety.” [4]

MORE THAN 50% OF PROTEIN

Fat

One challenge when searching for dog food for a dog with a moderate activity level is finding one that has a percentage of fat that is no more than 50% of the protein listed. Higher fat diets are a great energy source for active dogs but most dogs will get more calories than they can burn on a high fat diet. For dogs that are overweight I would avoid foods marketed for the “less active” dogs. If you checked the label you may find that this food has the same calories or more than the food you are feeding now.

LESS THAN 50% OF PROTEIN (GOOD)

Fiber

Many of these foods contain a high fiber content which can reduce the overall digestibility and insoluble fiber like cellulose can reduce mineral adsorption. High fiber can lead to increased need to defecate and a larger volume of feces. Instead I would limit treats and slightly reduce the amount of food feed, and increase their daily exercise. There’s an old saying, if your dog is fat you’re not getting enough exercise!

Using the gold standard pet food formulator Steve Brown recommends carbohydrates would be 6% of calories. (Dry kibble ranges from 20% to 60%+) The ideal remaining calorie breakdown would be 49% of the calories would come from protein, and 44% from fat. Remember that the percentage of calories is not the same as the "guaranteed analysis" %. We will show you how to determine the percentage of calories later with the Pet Food Math Cheat Sheet.

Dr. Patton  (cuts the carbs!)

Effects of diet restriction on life span and age-related changes in dogs

“Median life span was significantly longer for dogs in which food was restricted. The onset of clinical signs of chronic disease generally was delayed for food-restricted dogs.”

Being Overweight Shaves Nearly a Year from Your Dog's Life

If Your Pet is Overweight, Please Stay Away from These "Fixes"

HOW TO CHOOSE DOG FOOD

HOW TO MAKE THE FOOD YOU FEED BETTER!

 PET FOOD MATH CHEAT SHEET

PET FOOD MATH CHEAT SHEET

Pet Food Math Cheat Sheet

RER in kcal / day = 70 X (ideal BW kg [kg] 0.75