Recipes – weight loss
While some breeds are naturally more at risk of becoming overweight than others, obesity can be a problem with any dog. It’s only a hundred or so years since dogs’ were either wild and constantly foraging for their next meal, or workers earning their keep for their human masters. Nowadays, a dog is far more likely to be a much loved, and rather pampered, member of the family. This is a wonderful thing for dogs, but not necessarily for their waistlines! A lack of exercise and too many treats are the most common contributors to dog obesity, which is increasingly a health issue for our four legged friends. If you are in any doubt about the reason for your dog’s weight gain (eg if it may be due to a medical condition or pregnancy), then you should seek veterinary advice before doing anything else.
Your dog’s target weight will depend on its age, size and breed, but as a rough guideline you should be able to feel the dog’s ribs below their coat without difficulty, distinguish a narrowing behind the ribs at the dog’s waist, feel the top of the hip bones at the base of the tail and the dog should have a taut abdomen. If the ribs or hip bones are less discernible or clearly covered with a layer of fat, or if the abdomen is paunchy or hanging down, then they (or, rather, you) have a problem.
Increasing exercise will be key to slimming your dog, although this isn’t always easy, particularly if your dog has gained weight due to older age or following an operation. So cutting back on the carbohydrates (which are generally the food group most to blame for weight gain) in your dog’s diet will help reduce their weight. You also need to ensure you are carefully measuring the amount of food (and in particular calories) your dog is receiving each day. This is easier done with commercial dog food than home prepared food.
Any changes you make to your dog’s diet and lifestyle should be done gradually over a couple of weeks, so you don’t get an adverse reaction (such as a stomach upset or refusal to eat a suddenly changed diet).
Chilli lamb – but use turkey instead of lamb (lamb is too fatty)