The best diet for an overweight dog is obviously one that causes it to lose unhealthy fat while retaining muscle.
An overweight dog needs a weight loss program just as much as an overweight human does. Besides being fed too much food, the major reason a dog becomes overweight is that it doesn’t get enough exercise for its age and breed. For example, 10 minutes of walking every day isn’t even close to the amount of exercise needed by an active working dog like a Border Collie whose tradition is herding sheep or cattle. In contrast, a smaller dog like a Yorkie or toy poodle requires a lot less exercise.
If your dog is really out of shape it will need to increase its energy level by running or playing games that provide aerobic exercise. Start slowly with any new exercise plan to give your dog time to build its muscles and get used to a more active lifestyle.
An overweight dog is usually the result of feeding it too much food. This is the number one reason why a dog gets fat. To start a program of weight loss for your dog, begin by cutting back at least 25% on the amount of food you feed it each day. Keep track of not only how much food your dog is consuming daily, but also how fast the food is disappearing from its bowl. You do need to be aware that cutting back on the amount of food means you’re also cutting back on nutrients. Supplementing the dog’s diet with a good quality vitamin will ensure that your dog is still getting the nutrients it needs.
The best diet plan for an overweight dog is to feed it fewer treats and table scraps. Too much of either of these can contribute to a dog’s weight gain, so stop giving your dog table scraps or extra treats. Reward it instead with healthy foods like green beans, a banana, carrots or specialty dog biscuits from a store that features wholesome snacks.
Substitute giving your overweight dog treats by spending time playing fetch or Frisbee which will engage your pet and offer less motivation to beg for treats. When your dog does play games with you, reward it with love and attention rather than treats. Helping your dog lose weight won’t instantly make your dog slim and fit, but continued adherence to a plan of daily exercise, cutting out extra treats, and feeding it a high-quality dog food in moderate amounts will help your dog live a healthier, longer life.