Weight control dog food

If your dog needs to lose a little weight, the theory is simple, eat less and burn more calories but in reality it’s more difficult.  If you begin to offer your dog less and less food your dog may develop behavioural issues, such as raiding bins or stealing food, because she’s hungry.

One option is to feed your dog a food designed for weight control but how do you know which food is best for your pooch?

My dog is still hungry…

A common complaint about weight control dog foods is that dogs are still hungry after eating and as a result start looking/scrounging for more food.  Owners can find it difficult to watch their dog looking hungry so they feed extra treats and table scraps which defeats the purpose of feeding a weight control food.

What can we do about this?

We need to make sure that overweight dogs are eating a low calorie food that makes them feel full. 

Does such a food exist?

Veterinary scientist Alex Wilson, PhD, conducted a study into weight loss pet food formulas and found that high fibre and high protein diets seem to be the best at making sure that dogs feel full after eating whilst remaining low calorie.  I would also suggest a lower fat diet is better than a higher fat diet so you’re looking for foods that are:

  • high fibre
  • high protein
  • low calorie
  • lower fat

Fibre facts…

1. Fibre is only found in vegetables and grains; not meat

2. Fibre greatly affects the speed at which food travels through the digestive system. It can slow it down in cases of diarrhoea and speed it in the case of constipation.

3. Fibre lowers the calorie content of dog food so your dog will eat fewer calories per serving and lose weight.

4. Too much fibre can decrease the digestibility of other important nutrients.  In doing so, a dog’s poop becomes voluminous, loose and smelly and dogs have to poop A LOT.

5. Fibre absorbs water causing it to expand making your dog feel full.  When your dog’s stomach is full, it signals hunger satisfaction so your dog will stop eating sooner.

6. There are two types of fibre.  The soluble type can provide the feeling of fullness whereas insoluble fibre is poorly digestible.

7. Complex carbohydrates, such as whole grain oats, brown rice or potato usually provide a good source of fibre.  Fibre can also be provided by other plant sources including vegetables.

Types of soluble fibre…

When looking for a weight control dog food that’s high in fibre, check the ingredients list to look for sources of soluble fibre as this type of fibre will help your dog feel full:

  • Beet pulp
  • Rice bran
  • Flaxseed
  • Psyllium husk
  • Dried peas and beans
  • Barley
  • Oats/oat bran
  • Pectin
  • Fruit and vegetables (carrots, apples, etc.)

The benefits of protein…

Just like fibre, protein helps dogs to feel fuller and more satisfied plus the body uses more energy to digest and absorb protein than it does to digest fats and carbohydrates.  Therefore if your dog eats a food that’s high in protein, she’ll use a lot of calories to break it down and absorb it. 

Choosing a weight control dog food…

The best weight control dog foods are:

  • high in soluble fibre
  • high in protein
  • low calorie
  • lower fat

To give you a head start, I’ve taken a look on allaboutdogfood.co.uk and found the following dry dog foods that fit this profile:

  • Acana Light & Fit
    • 4.9 out of 5 stars 
    • Calories: 307kcal/100g
    • Above average protein
    • Above average fibre
    • Average fat
    • Sources of soluble fibre: lentils, green peas, field beans, pumpkin, squash, parsnips and more
  • Orijen Senior
    • 5 out of 5 stars
    • Calories: 371kcal/100g
    • Above average protein
    • Above average fibre
    • Average fat
    • Sources of soluble fibre: green peas, green lentils, yams, chickpeas, pumpkin, butternut squash and more
  • Acana Senior 
    • 4.9 out of 5 stars
    • Calories: 332.5 kcal/100g
    • Above average protein
    • Above average fibre
    • Average fat
    • Sources of soluble fibre: red lentils, whole green peas, field beans, green lentils, pumpkin & squash and more
  • Essential Contour
    • 4.9 out of 5 stars
    • Calories: 343.0 kcal/100g
    • Above average protein
    • Above average fibre
    • Average fat
    • Sources of soluble fibre: sweet potatoes, peas, linseed, cranberry, blueberries, mulberries and more

What do you feed your dog to help her maintain or lose weight?

free dog food guides from the woof works

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