In the wild, there is no such thing as an obese dog. Obesity in dogs is purely a man made problem. If it a problem we created, then obviously we can rectify it.
Dog obesity has the same cause as that in humans – poor diet and lack of exercise.
Wild dogs are very active. They can travel miles/kilometres on a hunting trek. And, bearing in mind that a kill has to feed the whole pack, these treks will be regular. And of course, not all hunts are successful. Probably not even half.
One of the great joys of having a dog or two, is that push they give you to get outside, to walk them. Whatever the weather. Whatever our excuses. The best dog walks gives them more exercise than you. Unless you are into running. Half the fun for us is to watch them have a ball, sometimes literally, racing after and fetching a ball. Other times just enjoying them explore, slowing us down, invaluable after a hectic day at work.
A dog should never be a couch potato. And I don’t believe they want to be.
How do you know if you have an obese dog? It’s not always easy as some dog breeds are naturally large in their frame. You can feed them a tiny amount and they still appear to be large.
Signs of Obesity In Dogs
The best way to check for an overweight dog is in three parts:
1 – looking from above the dog, there should be a little wasting in after the ribs towards the back legs
2 – looking from the side of the dog, there should be a little wasting up aft of the ribs, towards the back legs
3 – running your fingers along the spine, you should just be able to feel the vertebrae, and when you reach the rump, the hip bones
If there is no wasting aft of the ribs, your dog is too fat.
If the spine and hip bones are very obvious, the dog is too thin. If you can’t feel the spine, you probably have a fat dog. If you can’t feel the hip bones, you definitely have an obese dog.
So what about the diet? Most dogs are fed the commercial dog food recommended by vets. That makes most people feel content that their dog is getting all the right food, all in perfect balance.
Sadly, this is far from the truth, which you can check out for yourself.
First, list ALL the ingredients on the packet/can. Then explore them one by one. That takes time. And commitment.
What you will find is that there is a lot of vegetable matter in dog food. In fact it is normally the main ingredient. Often followed by a lot of fat. Then come all the chemical ingredients. And often, not a lot of animal protein, and the quality of what is there can be questionable.
Dogs, being omnivores, are fine eating vegetable matter. But not predominantly.
Fat is fine in small quantities, but not in the quantities often found in dog food. Wild animals, dogs natural prey, don’t carry much fat. They are always on the move.
Chemicals are toxic in nature, even when they are masquerading as a vitamin. When we are so overloaded with toxins that we can’t excrete them at the rate they are consumed, they are stored in the fat. This renders them relatively harmless. But it means that for your dog to lose weight, you first have to de-tox them.
Not everyone knows how to do that. In fact, very few do. Natural therapists such as homeopaths do.
The animal protein in dog food can be too focussed on the waste from human grade food, and other waste sources, and not enough on a balance. A wild dog will eat the whole carcass, and that is the balance. Not lots of cow hooves or too much intestines, which can make up commercial dog food.
So what is the best dog food for weight loss? Should you feed them low fat dog food?
Certainly a low fat diet can help in the early stages of weight loss in dogs, as in anyone. But you need to be careful as that is by no means the end of the story. Quality food should be the mainstay of the diet because it is only quality food that will provide your dog with all the nutrients they need to be healthy.
Apart from the quality, the diet needs to be species-specific. That means, caring for the dog as Nature does. This is a complex subject. It needs to be dealt with in detail, in a way you can absorb and then use the information. To reduce wight in an obese dog, but also to improve their health overall, without breaking the bank.
Natural dogs health is about getting everything right according to dog. And in balance.