Weight Loss Diet Plans For Dogs How To Help Your Canine Lose Weight

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Weight Loss Diet Plans For Dogs How To Help Your Canine Lose Weight

by Jennifer Stubbins

Do you have an overweight dog who needs to lose weight? Are you looking for advice on how to give your dog a lower fat diet? You are not alone.

Obesity in dogs is probably the most common nutritional problem today in the United Kingdom, and United States of America. Dog food manufactures are well aware of this face, and have produced dog food products to combat obesity in dogs.

You will have seen that reduced calorie products have been on the market for many years. In a similar fashion, so have low carb", "low fat" and "lite" versions of common dog food brands.

The dog food market has essentially mirrored the marketing for human foods, as more and more people are becoming weight-conscious, and are therefore taking actions to help their pets to lose weight.

But did you know that the consumer safety and food standard rules that apply to the labelling of human food did not apply to pet foods?

In the USA, AAFCO regulations which govern the use of terms such as "lite" became effective recently. Under these rules, the term "lite" must be based on a standard reference for all products, regardless of the manufacturer and brand name.

Here's an example, a "lite" or "low calorie" dry dog food can't contain more than 3100 kilocalories per kilogram (kcal per kg), while a similarly named dry cat food cannot contain more than 3250 kcal per kg.

Canned dog foods contain much more moisture, than dry dog foods so the maximum allowable calories are even lower (900 and 950 kcal per kg for dog and cat foods, respectively).

It's possible that reduced calorie versions of dog food brands that do not comply with the above specifications can make comparative claims on their labelling. An example of this type of diet-conscious labelling would be to make statements such as "25% less calories than our regular product."

When a manufacturer make such a claim, it must be backed up in the label with evidence.

In addition to "lite" and "low calorie" claims, a similar set of rules were established for "lean" and "low fat" dog food products, which is based on maximum allowable fat percentages instead of calories.

While it's important to read the labels of your dog food to ensure that you're not being mislead by false claims, it is also important to consider the overall health of your dog.

You will need to be vigilant that your lower calorie, low fat or lite version of your dog food brand is not stuffed with low fat and low calorie fillers that can cause more serious health complications than obesity.

In addition to this, a successful weight loss program for your dog requires you to get involved and active. Overfeeding your dog on a "diet version of the usual brands will still lead to weight gain.

To bet the best results, you should follow the directions suggested on the label to help your dog to lose weight, and avoid giving your dog snacks in between meals or scraps from the table.

Increasing the amount of exercise you will go a long way in helping your dog to lose weight, and consulting a veterinarian will guarantee that your dog's weight loss program is as healthy as possible.

Jennifer Subbins writes a newsletter giving nutrition advice for dog owners. For a free subscription to her newsletter, visit her site, Dog Food Uncovered

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