Do You Really Want to Feed your Dog a Diet Food?
Last week, in the final post on the top things that people don’t know about dog food series, I made mention of the fact that weight control foods are not necessarily a good option for an overweight dog. I wanted to expand on that topic a bit this week with updated data on calories and carbohydrates in dog foods.
As I mentioned previously, weight control (or diet) dog foods are formulated to be lower in calories per serving than regular dog foods. To find out the difference in calories, I compared the calories per cup in weight control dog foods against calories per cup for regular dog foods.
As you can see in the graph below, weight control foods are about 10% lower in calories per cup, 309 to 340, than regular dog foods. This makes sense as the weight control dog food recipe would likely be formulated to contain less calories.
I also compared the carbohydrate content in the two types of food, and this is where the problem lies. Compared to regular dog foods, the weight control dog foods contain 13% more carbohydrates, on average than a regular dog food does. Keep in mind that normally healthy dogs should not be fed high carb diets. Yet, the average weight control recipe is made up of more than 50% carbohydrates. This is not desirable and not a sound strategy when it comes to weight reduction.
If your dog is overweight, feed them a species appropriate, lower carb (higher protein and fat) food with lots of meat or fish and other natural ingredients. Paired with regular exercise, this is all one needs for a healthy and safe weight loss program for a dog.