Best diet for an overweight dog?
Obesity in dogs is a significant problem. A recent survey of Australian vets found that 32% of the pets they see on a daily basis are overweight, and a significant percentage of them were dogs. Managing weight loss programs for dogs can be a real challenge, especially when you are trying to work out what to feed an overweight dog.
Safely reducing the weight of an overweight dog is not simply a matter of reducing the amount of food they are fed. Every dog has very specific energy and nutritional requirements, even if they are overweight. Obese dogs are also used to a certain volume of food and if they don’t get it, their begging behaviours will likely increase. Some dogs can even show an increased level of anxiety over food.
This is why ROYAL CANIN® has developed the veterinary Satiety diets. The Satiety diets have been specifically formulated to work as part of an integrated weight loss program to give overweight dogs all the nutrition they need to stay healthy while making them feel like they have had enough to eat, and reducing the number of calories they consume.
What is satiety?The term Satiety means the feeling of fullness, or satisfaction after eating a meal. This feeling of fullness is exactly what the ROYAL CANIN® Satiety diets have been designed for, to keep your dog satisfied while on their weight management program. We’ve developed a special blend of fibres for these diets that assists in two key ways. Firstly, this fibre content leads to an expansion in volume of the diet once it reaches the stomach, increasing in size by 30% - keeping your dog full. Secondly, the fibres slow the release of food from the stomach to the small intestine, meaning your dog will be fuller for longer, without eating nearly as much.
The right kind of weight loss
While weight loss is the key reason we created the Satiety diets, weight management is a lot more than just dropping kilos – it’s about losing the right kind of weight and keeping it off. The Satiety diets have several key benefits to assist ongoing weight management. The combination of balanced nutrients and increased protein levels helps to compensate for the reduction in calories, plus ensures your dog’s muscle mass is maintained, while their body fat levels are reducing.
In a study conducted in 2010, obese dogs placed on our Satiety diet lost an average of 11.7 kilos with 10.8 of those kilos being body fat. That means 92.3% of the weight they lost was fat and only 7.7% was lean body mass.
The added benefit of our Satiety diets being high in protein is that this added protein also assists in keeping your dog full and satisfied when they eat the diet. Furthermore, high protein diets are much more palatable which makes the Satiety range much more tempting – especially for fussier dogs.
Keeping the weight off
Research published in the Veterinary Journal in 2012 that looked into the long-term effectiveness of different weight loss diets found that our Satiety diets do more than just help dogs lose weight, they also assist in keeping that weight off once a dog is back to a healthy, ideal weight.
More than weight loss
Dogs carrying excessive weight commonly suffer from bone and joint problems as these areas are put under extra strain. At ROYAL CANIN® we always aim to assist overall pet health wherever we can, so our Satiety diets do more than simply help your dog to lose weight. The formulation of these diets has been supplemented with specific nutrients (including omega 3 fatty acids, glucosamine and chondroitin) to assist with the bone and joint health during the weight management program.
If you think your dog might be carrying more weight than is healthy for them, check out our Healthy Weight Triage Tool. This tool uses a Body Condition Score methodology to help you assess if your dog’s weight is in the healthy range. If it looks like your dog is overweight, ask your vet or vet nurse about how you can use ROYAL CANIN®’s Satiety diets as part of an integrated weight management program.
 McGreevy, P.D. et al, Prevalence of obesity in dogs examined by Australian veterinary practices and the risk factors involved, Veterinary Record 2005; 156:695-702 doi:10.1136/vr.156.22.695