Dogs have been for centuries a man’s best friend. Their loyal and loving behavior makes them impossible to resist and, apart from being solid companions, dogs can easily be extremely useful around the house or in your life.
But having a canine can be quite the responsibility, especially since you will require plenty of spare time to spend with your pooch to teach it how to behave and how to grow into a strong and healthy dog. And although you may think there is no such thing as too much love when it comes to your pet, there are still some things that you might be doing out of love but which prove not only wrong but also dangerous to your dog’s health.
Allowing your dog to sleep in your bed all the time will not teach it to respect your privacy and will increase its dependence on you. While sometimes it is good to allow your pet to sleep at your feet, sharing the same bed with it daily is not healthy for any of you. The same applies to the rules of serving your canine food.
Finding the perfect balance for your dog’s dietary habits can be a difficult task since you have to take into consideration plenty of aspects. From the size of your pooch to its breed, age, sex, and lifestyle, there are plenty of factors influencing your dog’s daily diet. However, the most common mistake owners make is to feed their dogs too much food at once or give in those tempting “puppy eyes” way too often.
Obviously you don’t want to keep your pet starving and you may consider it deserves an extra food portion after a long run in the park but exactly these type of habits lead to further weight problems and possible other health affections.
It is important to establish the right quantity of foods your dog needs daily, based on its own size, breed, age and affinity for physical activities. Bear in mind that although all dogs can become overweight or obese, there are still some breeds that are more prone to it than others.
For instance, French bulldogs, Dachshunds, and pugs are prone to weight problems due to their small feet, rounder shaped bodies and lack of sufficient physical activities, but you can also easily see obese beagles or chow-chows. In order to prevent all that, apart from feeding the right amount of food you should also feed your pet the best calorie reduced food.
Low-calorie dog foods, containing less fat, whether purchased from specific pet shops or cooked in the comfort of your own home are the answer to some of your pet’s weight problems. In order to be successful, these dietary plans should work on a simple principle – dogs that consume fewer calories than they burn will lose weight and become healthier in time. Unfortunately, losing weight is never that easy, not even for your dogs.
The main benefits of dog food for weight loss
As previously mentioned, the main purpose of low calorie foods is to help your friend promote a healthier diet based on a smaller amount of calorie reduced nutrition by comparison to the ones burned through physical activities.
However, it is hard to keep track exactly how many calories and fat your dog eats on a daily basis, especially with so many temptations out there. And humans are not the only ones dealing with obesity and overweight problems.
It is estimated that up to 45% of American dogs suffer from overweight problems and obesity, which counts for nearly 35 million canines. What is worse than obesity leads the way to a wide series of other health conditions for dogs, amongst which: diabetes, arthritis, heart diseases, high blood pressure, lung disorders and even certain types of cancers.
Under these circumstances it is crucial to maintain your pet’s ideal weight by considering the right calorie intake.
To lose weight the ideal type of food served to your dog should contain a higher intake of proteins, a lower than average amount of fats as well as a lower than average amount of calories.
Only the best diet dog food can help you achieve these goals and fight against the main problems in a canine’s health system.
There are plenty of benefits resulting from opting for pet foods with lower calorie intake, such as: promoting a healthier body, decreasing and regulating blood pressure, helping lose weight, offer more proteins, preventing diabetes and delivering a more luscious and thicker fur.
What to look out for when buying weight control dog food
Diet dog food can come in all forms, shapes and sizes from various manufacturers. It is important to know your dog’s own specific needs and act in its own best interest. The ideal food for it, as previously mentioned should have lower calories and fats while a higher intake of proteins. Subsequently, your canine food should not exceed 400 calories per cup of canned or dog food.
But are fats from food such a big problem for dogs? Although they are omnivorous beings, similar to humans, their dietary needs and habits are slightly different than ours. And what may be the right choice for us shouldn’t automatically be the best choice for your pet as well. When it comes to the human diet, saturated fats have been long blamed for determining clogged arteries and increase the rate of having a heart attack. But this is not applicable to dogs too!
Research shows that dogs which consume a diet remotely high on fats and calorie rarely suffer from circulatory problems since dogs seem to be quite resistant to strokes and artery diseases.
The same happens to the cholesterol levels. Unlike humans, dogs which stack on higher cholesterol levels do not suffer from the same health affections we do. On the contrary, their high cholesterol level is usually stocked from the “good” type of cholesterol that actually prevents fat build-ups inside the body and on main organs, diminishing their ability to normally function.
A high dietary fat for your canine can, in fact, be a good source of energy and help him achieve those essential fatty acids required for the proper functioning of their systems. Unfortunately, if fats can somewhat regulate certain functions of a dog’s body can also deliver certain medical conditions such as obesity and pancreatitis. This is why knowing the right type of foods your dog requires is crucial.
It is no secret that the pet food industry thrives on price over quality and profit should be achieved with all purposes. This leads to inappropriate dog foods, even though sold under reputed brands and logos. Some of the low-quality ingredients you should avoid when purchasing low calorie food include generic vegetable oil, anonymous animal fat and fatty trimmings.
How to decide the best food quantity for your dog
Buying a low calorie type of food, dog doesn’t suffice if you want to diminish the intake of calories on your dog’s main meals. We have tested the method ourselves and came to the conclusion that if you do not also narrow down the food portions for your pet, giving it this type of food will not necessarily determine your dog to lose weight.
On the contrary, we strongly suggest that, apart from a balanced diet, your dog should have constant physical activities of the most diverse – from long walks in the park to running sessions and even cardio exercises by claiming stairs up and down.
Apart from physical movement we suggest you also take into consideration your dog’s size, age and breed. As we previously stated, some dog breeds are more prone to overweight and obesity problems but all dogs can easily become overweight if fed too much food.
The easiest way to narrow down portions is to install strict eating hours for the main meals of the day – your canine should receive food twice – three times a day at regular hours. Do not leave the bowl full of food outside your dog’s regular eating hours and avoid snacks and treats way too often. One snack a day after an intense workout routine is beneficial, but do not abuse.
Also, make sure you don’t give in to those shady “puppy eyes” begging you to share your own food with your dog. Remember that while dogs and humans can eat pretty much the same thing, some aliments are still potentially dangerous to your dog.
In that note you should definitely avoid high calorie and sugar products like chocolate and sweets, sodas, alcohol, grapes, strawberries and any other ingredients that might cause food poisoning or allergies.
We suggest you combine the regular dry low-calorie food with snacks made out from fresh veggies. Carrots, sweet potatoes, cucumbers or pumpkin are both low calorie and nutritious and make for the perfect and healthiest snacks between meals.
Also, researches conducted show that you should avoid feeding your canine food portions more than 400 calories per meal if you want to keep your dog looking healthy and do not exceed its ideal weight.
What are the best low calorie dog foods?
The market is full of dog foods for all breeds, needs and ages, but finding the right diet food for your pet may prove to be a little bit hard. We selected the top five brands and products we consider the best for your dog and which you should definitely give a try.
And before you start reading, if you still can’t find what you’re looking for in the store, you might as well consider homemade dog food for weight loss. But we’ll keep that for another post. Right now, enjoy our top 5 of top dog foods low on fat!
1. Natural Balance Fat Dogs Dry Dog Food
This product is rated 4.5 starts out of 5 and comes in three different size packages – 5 pounds, 15 pounds and 28 pounds. This is the lowest calorie dog food from pet foods producer Natural Balance and supports optimum digestion while promoting a healthy weight for your dog. The Natural Balance dog food is suitable for adult dogs and offers a complete and balanced nutrition while low on calories.
The product is rich in fibers and proteins but low on fats and calories so that it will keep your dog satiated and prevent begging it for more. The taste is delicious and the product is also rich in fibers to ensure an overall health for your dog. This low calorie dry dog food was particularly designed for overweight dogs.
Results of reviews in nearly every journal state this product as one of the most tasty organic recipes for dogs aiming to loose weight. It can be often found on a prescription by vets all over the USA for dog diets, being an excellent replacement for homemade low carb dog food.
- Made in the USA
- Comes in different package size
- Good price and quality
- Not suitable for pups
- Too many ingredients, most of them plant-based
2. Natural Balance Original Ultra Reduced Calorie Dry Dog Food
An improvement from the previously mentioned formula, this new Natural Balance reduced calorie dry dog food is everything your dog would want. You will find a similar price and packaging like the ones in the aforementioned product, meaning you get to choose from 4.5 pound bags to 28-pound bags. Our sources prefer this as the most tasty selection of ingredients for your best friend.
This product was specifically designed for overweight, less active and senior dogs, meaning it is even lower on calorie to adjust to your senior dog’s slower metabolism. It contains premium quality meals for extra taste and has no artificial flavors or colors.
The Original ultra reduced calorie dry dog food frecipe from Natural Balance offers the optimum balance of high quality proteins and key nutrients specifically made by Natural Balance’s nutritionists to ensure the perfect recipe for your dog.
As a result, the essential fatty acids and all other nutrients found in this food are specifically combined to offer luscious, thick and shiny skin and coat for your dog.
- Comes in different package size
- Suitable for senior dogs and overweight, less active dogs
- Made from superior quality ingredients and meats
- Reduced calorie product
- May not be suitable for all dog breeds and dog issues
- Doesn’t feel so fresh; not all dogs love this
3. NUTRO Lite and weight management adult dry dog food
Another reputed dog food brand comes in the form of NUTRO, with sufficient dog food types to satisfy even the pickiest of tastes. The weight management dry dog food was specifically designed to meet the needs of overweight adult dogs which need to lose some pounds in order to get in shape and stay healthy.
Choose from numerous package sizes, ranging from 4-pound to 30-pound bags, depending on your needs and your dog’s requirements. The product is made with an original blend of proteins and fibers to support a healthy weight loss system while still delivering the necessary amounts of vitamins and nutrients for a healthy diet.
Enriched with essential antioxidants and vitamin E, this recipe will boost the immune system and ensure a thick, luscious and beautiful fur. Choose from two different flavors, depending on your dog’s preferences – lamb or meet, this product is also suitable for larger dog breeds.
- Comes in plenty of sizes per pack
- Advantageous price
- Amazing price/ quality range
- Enriched with vitamin E
- Suitable for adult dogs all sorts of breeds – including larger breeds
- Special anti fat recipe mix designed to promote healthy weight loss
- May deliver unusual stools
4. Wellness CORE Natural grain free dry dog food
The main advantage of this formula is that it contains no grains, meaning less carbohydrates and, obviously less calories. This is a top premium dog food brand, closer to gourmet food rather than your usual dry dog food rich in numerous dubious ingredients.
Although the price is considerably higher than other dog food brands, this Wellness dry dog food comes in different delicious combinations and is suitable for both adult dogs and overweight pups.
The reduced fat formula, calorie low as well, offers a complete and balanced daily nutrition for a healthy weight loss process for your dog. Enriched with proteins and lower fat ingredients of high quality, the CORE dry dog foods will support your dog’s balanced diet and still offer a delicious alternative. The food is made using real turkey, chicken and salmon to combine all necessary ingredients for a healthy daily diet.
This diversified dog food program also offers the possibility for a strictly combination of ingredients designed for smaller dog breeds, pups or adult dogs. The 26-pound bag costs $63 on Amazon.
- Made from high quality ingredients using real meat
- Grain-free formula, rich on chicken, salmon and turkey
- Enriched with fish oils
- Wide variety of flavors and tastes
- Promotes a healthy and delicious weight loss system
- Different products suitable for small breeds, puppies or regular adult dogs
- Higher price
5. Hill’s Science diet adult light dry dog food
This product is probably the most well-known brand of dog food for weight loss, together with Iams. It is specifically designed with 18% less calories to promote a healthier lifestyle. The formula contains natural ingredients, vitamins, minerals and amino acids for a balanced diet.
Moreover, the Hill’s Science diet dog food is free of artificial colors, flavors and preservatives to make sure you get the best nutrition for your dog. Buy this food for your dog and if you are not fully satisfied, you receive your money back.
- 18% less calories
- Natural ingredients
- Enriched with vitamins, minerals and amino acids
- Promotes a healthy diet for your dog
- Suitable for weight loss programs
- Clinically proven antioxidant benefits
- Affordable price
- Not all dogs may like it
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