Obesity in Dogs

One of the most common problems in a dog in simple obesity. Owners will frequently not see it and, once acknowledged, it may still be extremely difficult for them to understand that reducing the dog's food intake is not cruel. The obesity diet has its part to play by enabling the owner to feed a low-calorie diet to the dog, which will satisfy the hunger pangs while reducing his intake of nutrients.


The table below indicates a suitable intake of calories for an overweight dog with a target weight indicated in the first column. The diet needs to be balanced by sensible variations of other nutrients.


Daily Calorie Requirement for the Overweight Dog
Target weight Scale 1 Scale 2
2.5 kg (5.5 lb) 120 90
5 kg (11 lb) 200 160
7 kg (15.5 lb) 275 220
10 kg (22 lb) 350 270
12 kg (26.5 lb) 400 320
15 kg (33 lb) 470 375
20 kg (44 lb) 600 470
25 kg (55 lb) 700 550
30 kg (66 lb) 800 650
40 kg (88 lb) 1000 800


You can see from this just how few calories, and consequently how little food, a dog really needs if he is to lose weight at a satisfactory rate. Scale 1 will cause reduction in body weight at a fairly slow rate, and even with ordinary foodstuffs the dog should not be too drastically hungry. Scale 2 is necessary when a more rapid reduction in weight is called for. It is still not a drastic diet regime.


As an example, if you wish to reduce your dog's weight to 20 kg (44 lb), using the slower scale you would need to feed not more than 600 calories a day. Without resorting to a special diet, this could be achieved by a total daily feed of 115 g (about 4 oz) of meat and 130 g (4.5 oz) of biscuit mixer. This is not a lot of food on a large dog's plate, and it explains why special reducing diets, which give bulk and fill the dog's stomach, are popular.

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