Finding the best dog food for overweight dogs can be tricky, especially if you have a picky pooch. I have an overweight dog. Our vet recommended green beans to fill him up. If my dog could laugh, he would have done so right in our face! Going with “weight management” dog food isn’t always a good option either. He doesn’t like it. You’d think that would help him lose weight, since he’d eat less, but it just made him even more motivated to get into the garbage or steal my son’s dinner! Take a look at how to help your dog lose weight without starving him or feeding him food that he doesn’t like.
Finding the best dog food for overweight dogs
Here’s the thing about dog food for overweight dogs: it isn’t so much about changing the brand as it is changing your dog’s eating habits. Granted, if you’re feeding them a low-quality brand bulked up with cruddy fillers, you’ll want to reconsider. If you’re already feeding them the best dry dog food, though, change the feeding schedule and not the food. Wondering what to look for in the best dog food for overweight dogs and how to feed them so they lose weight? Here are a few things to consider:
- Foods high in protein are more filling. When you’re trying to help your dog lose weight, you want to make sure they feel full enough at each meal so they don’t go looking for trouble! High protein contents fill them up more than low-cal foods pumped up with carbs. The best dog food for overweight dogs knows how to balance protein and fat.
- Feeding recommendations are just that, recommendations. When you look at the directions on a dog food bag, you’re looking at the suggestions for a dog of ideal weight. Rather than go by recommendations, figure out how many calories your dog needs per day and feed them according to that.
- Overweight dogs can’t graze. For the most part, you shouldn’t allow grazing. While I’ve had grazers who never over-ate, when my rescue dog came along, I had to put an end to that. Professionals recommend against letting dogs graze anyway. It’s a rare dog that can control their urge to eat everything in sight! Instead, divide their daily serving into two or three small meals.
- Food alone isn’t enough. You can’t just get the best dog food for overweight dogs and call it a day. Like you, your dog also needs to exercise to lose weight. Take him for daily walks, head to the dog park and just get active. The great part: you’ll be getting fit too!
- Learn from my mistakes. One day, my older and svelte dog turned her nose up at her food. She refused to eat. In a panic, we added goodies to it. Canned food, meat, cheese, whatever we had on hand. Of course, my other two dogs wanted what she had. We got in a bad habit of “dressing” their kibble with extras. Now, they refuse to eat plain kibble. Keep the treats reasonable and separate from the meal.
One other thing to watch out for: stealing! My dog, Cooper, is a rescue dog. He spent six months of his life fighting for scraps along with ten other puppies in a tiny cage. He will ALWAYS worry that food isn’t going to come, so he eats whatever he can. Our vet told us that this is very common in rescue dogs. He steals everything he can get his paws on. We have to put the garbage up at night. When my son eats a snack in his room, he has to shut the door. We even have to block off the cat food so Cooper doesn’t steal it!
Remember, the best dog food for overweight dogs isn’t an exact brand or flavor- it’s an overall method of feeding. Talk to your vet to determine a weight loss diet for your pet and stick to it!