The Problem with Dieting
Dieting is not the answer to your health problems. If you are looking for quick results then dieting will probably fail. You might lose some weight, but it won’t last long because your body will adapt to its new size within a few weeks or months. When you lose weight, you may feel hungry again and gain it back quickly when you start eating normally again.
If you want to maintain your current size, then you need to stick with a healthy diet. A good diet for dachshunds includes vegetables, fruits, whole grains, lean meats and fish (such as salmon), eggs and dairy products such as cheese and yogurt. Other foods that are beneficial include beans, lentils, peas and peanuts. For more detailed information about what constitutes a “healthy” diet for dachshunds please refer to our nutrition guide .
What Does a Healthy Diet Look Like?
A healthy diet consists of fresh fruits and vegetables, lean meat and fish (such as salmon) and low-fat dairy products. A balanced diet is essential for keeping your pet’s energy levels up, preventing obesity, diabetes mellitus type 2 and other diseases. A proper diet helps keep your pets’ bodies from becoming malnourished which leads to weight gain.
The following are some tips to help your pet lose weight:
Give smaller meals more frequently. This helps to keep your pet’s blood sugar and energy levels up without adding too many calories.
Avoid fatty foods, as well as foods high in sugar, salt and preservatives.
Increase exercise. Take your dog for a walk or play fetch every day. Try to get your pet moving for at least a couple of hours a day.
Avoid treats altogether, or substitute with a small piece of carrot or apple.
Use a smaller bowl when feeding your pet to make their meals last longer.
Add weight to your pet’s exercise and diet regime until you notice an improvement in weight. Once this is achieved, you can start weaning your pet off their routine until they reach their desired size.
What are the Risks of Dieting?
There are several risks that come with dieting, most of which can have a lasting effect on your pet’s health and well-being. These include:
Malnutrition: If you remove fat from your pet’s diet, then they will not receive enough fatty acids, which help with the absorption of vitamins, nutrients and important bodily processes.
Dehydration: Removing fluids from your pet’s diet can lead to dehydration and deficiencies of certain minerals and vitamins.
Weakness: If your pet does not receive proper nourishment, it can cause weakness, which decreases their quality of life.
Slow metabolism: When you start decreasing your pet’s food intake they will begin to burn fewer calories than usual. When this happens, they are likely to gain weight until they reach their previous diet again.
Skin and fur problems: When a dog or cat does not receive enough nutrients, it can cause hair loss, dry skin and a weak immune system. This leaves them prone to various allergic reactions such as itchy skin.
What Type of Food is Best?
There are several different types of weight loss diets for dogs on the market and choosing the right one can be overwhelming. Some of the most common ones are:
Homemade diet: This diet is based on lean meats, boiled vegetables, low-fat dairy products and polyunsaturated oils. It can be time consuming to prepare and it may be difficult for you to calculate your pet’s calorie intake.
High-fiber diet: This diet includes various foods that are high in fiber such as brown rice and other whole grains, vegetables, beans and fruit. Dogs may not appreciate the change in food.
Semi-moist diet: This diet consists of specially prepared dry kibbles mixed with canned food. It provides a compromise between a dry and wet diet and makes it easier for your pet to eat. The main drawback is an increased risk of weight gain due to the high caloric content of the canned food.
High-protein, low-calorie diet: This diet is specially formulated to meet your dog’s nutritional needs while reducing their caloric intake. It works by making your pet feel fuller after eating. However, it is one of the more expensive options and may be difficult to find.
Foods to Avoid
There are also certain foods that should be avoided when it comes to weight loss. These include:
Fatty Foods: Fried foods, fatty meats and high-fat dairy products will provide a lot of calories with little nutritional value.
Processed Foods: Processed foods are typically low in nutrients and high in calories and should be avoided. This includes treats like pig ears and rawhides.
People Food: Although people food seems like a good idea, feeding your dog or cat people food can cause a lot of stomach issues. It’s typically not nutritious enough and can cause digestive problems.
How to Measure Your Pet’s Progress
When it comes to weight loss, it can be difficult to figure out if you’re meeting your goal or not. One of the best ways to see if you’re moving in the right direction is to measure your pet’s girth around the widest part of their body. You should also keep track of their food intake as well as their feces. If you notice a change in either, this could signify a problem that requires your attention.
How to Maintain Your Pet’s Weight
Once you’ve gotten your pet to the proper weight, it’s important to maintain that weight. If your pet starts gaining weight, this means that you’re giving them more food than they need. Lower their food intake until they reach their target weight again.
How Long Does It Take?
It really depends on how overweight your pet is. If you’ve just allowed them to overeat until they’re a few pounds overweight, this could take as little as a month. However, if your pet is seriously overweight, it may take longer. Never let your pet get too hungry. If you’re unsure about whether or not to continue, you should probably talk to your veterinarian before continuing.
Sources & references used in this article:
Walk a hound, lose a pound: How you and your dog can lose weight, stay fit, and have fun together by P Zeltzman, RA Johnson – 2011 – books.google.com
Effect of weight loss in obese dogs on indicators of renal function or disease by A Tvarijonaviciute, JJ Ceron, SL Holden… – Journal of Veterinary …, 2013 – Wiley Online Library
Obesity-related metabolic dysfunction in dogs: a comparison with human metabolic syndrome by A Tvarijonaviciute, JJ Ceron, SL Holden… – BMC Veterinary …, 2012 – Springer
The nature of animal healing: The definitive holistic medicine guide to caring for your dog and cat by M Goldstein – 2009 – books.google.com