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How to Help Your Overweight Dog
How to Help Your Overweight Dog

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How to Help Your Overweight Dog

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Obesity is a common problem in dogs, but you can help your pet lose weight. Identifying the causes and following a total weight-management program can result in controlled weight loss and maintenance. A total weight-management program includes evaluating the animal, educating the pet owner, modifying behaviors, and tailoring the program to individual situations.

 

 

Definition and Causes of, and Contributing Factors to, Obesity in Dogs

Obesity is defined as an increase in body weight, beyond the limitation of skeletal and physical requirements, resulting from an accumulation of excess body fat.
 

Obesity is caused when caloric intake exceeds caloric expenditure. This simply means that a dog eats more energy (calories) than it uses and stores the excess energy as fat.
 

There are many factors that can contribute to obesity:

  • Overfeeding
  • Inactivity
  • Breed
  • Age and gender
  • Spay/neuter status
  • Diabetes mellitus
  • Hyperadrenocorticism
  • Hypothyroidism
  • Owner's weight

 

 

Fat, Fiber, and Fatty Acids in Your Dog’s Weight-Loss Program

Fat

  • Dogs use fat as their primary energy source.
  • A diet that replaces some fat with highly digestible carbohydrates offers a good low-calorie alternative. Digestible carbohydrates contain fewer than one half of the calories of equal quantities of fat and do not have the disadvantages of indigestible fiber.

 

Fiber and Fatty Acids

  • A normal fiber level, provided in a moderately fermentable fiber source, helps create and maintain a healthy gut. This is especially important to the dog on a weight-reduction regimen.
  • Some weight-loss products for dogs dilute calories with high levels of fiber. High-fiber foods might reduce the digestibility and absorption of many nutrients, including fat. These foods reduce weight by providing what could be considered poor-quality nutrition. These high-fiber diets also might result in large, frequent stools, and decreased skin and coat condition.
  • Diets that provide an adjusted fatty-acid profile maintain the pet's healthy skin and coat, despite lowered fat levels.

 

Carbohydrates and Special Ingredients in Your Dog’s Weight-Loss Program

Carbohydrates and Special Ingredients

  • Feeding a diet that contains the carbohydrates corn, sorghum, and/or barley can result in lower blood sugar and insulin levels as compared to feeding a diet that contains rice as the primary carbohydrate source. Lower blood sugar and insulin levels also can help with maintaining a proper weight.

 

In addition, a diet that contains L-carnitine can help dogs metabolize fat. L-carnitine is a vitamin-like compound that helps burn fat.

 

 

Weight Loss for Your Dog Should Be Gradual

  • The goal of a good weight-loss-management program should be gradual weight loss. This is especially important in cats, because severe nutrient restriction can result in hepatic lipidosis (abnormal fat accumulation in the liver).
  • Dogs should lose 1 to 2% of their initial weight per week.
  • A good way to begin a weight-loss program is to reduce caloric intake by transitioning to a weight-control or reduced-fat formula. Dogs and cats that do not respond quickly should see their veterinarian for a special weight-loss program.

 

A total weight-management program can lead to successful weight reduction in the obese dog. Complete evaluation by the veterinarian is always recommended, and owner compliance is essential to success.
 

IAMS™ and professional veterinary products provide optimum nutrition for animals that can benefit from a weight-management program.

  • 3 reasons why animal-based protein might be better for your dog​
    3 reasons why animal-based protein might be better for your dog​
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    3 reasons why animal-based protein might be better for your dog​

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    A balanced diet with high-quality protein is essential for your dog's optimal wellness.
     

    Author: Dr. Saza Curaming
     

    Dogs are semi-carnivores. They can be nourished by protein from animal sources, plant sources or a combination of both. Although dogs are often fed a plant-based diet, they are not herbivores. 
     

    The difference between animal-based protein and plant-based protein sources is that animal-based ones incorporate chicken, lamb, fish meal, and beef while plant-based protein sources include corn-gluten and soybean meal. 
     

    Similar to their carnivorous ancestors–wolves, coyotes, foxes, and jackals, the body structure of dogs is optimized for eating meat which is relatively easier for them to digest than a plant-based diet. 
     

    Even though dogs are semi-carnivores, it is important to not leave out animal-based proteins from their diet. Feeding our dogs meat-based products are closely related to their natural ancestral diet. There are three main reasons animal-based proteins are better suited for our furry friends than plant-based proteins.
     

    Not all proteins are created equal 

    Including protein in your pet dog’s diet serves several functions. For one, a high-quality protein food for dogs can provide amino acids. Amino acids play a key part in building hair, skin, nails, muscles, tendons, ligaments, and cartilage. Protein plays a key role in hormone and enzyme production.
     

    Amino acids are building blocks and are considered critical to our furry best friend. Different studies have shown that out of the 20 amino acids, 10 of these are called non-essential and can be made by your dog when they need it.

     

    Protein is crucial throughout a dog’s lifetime

    A dog’s need for amino acids will also change depending on age and condition. As dogs age, their body composition and muscle-specific proteins decline and for that reason, giving them protein in their meal helps them maintain a healthy body throughout the years.
     

    That said, it goes without saying that puppies require sufficient protein for growth. According to a study, a puppy's diet should consist of at least 22% protein. For an adult dog, 18% of protein should be incorporated into their everyday meal. 

     

    Protein a day, keeps doctors away

    Animal protein sources contain an average of 35% higher protein concentration. It contains higher doses of calcium, phosphorus, omega 6, methionine, cystine, and taurine. 
     

    While protein can be derived from plants, the canine digestive system typically has an easier time utilizing animal-sourced protein. Our dog's gastrointestinal tract is not designed to digest large amounts of plant-based products.
     

    To deliver a healthy balance of amino acids to support your dog's health and vitality, IAMS created a recipe that uses chicken as their number one ingredient and aids in maintaining healthy digestion, immune system, skin and coat, and even provides dental care support that is developed with veterinarians. 
     

    Ready to achieve your dog’s optimal health with an animal-based protein food? For more information about IAMS Dog, visit https://iams.asia/my/. IAMS Dog is available at all leading supermarkets and grocery stores nationwide.