Dog with large bowl

Overweight dogs benefit from high-protein, high-fibre diet

Puppy-dog eyes are hard to resist, but dogs don’t need extra treats or table scraps — and all those extra calories soon add up.

Being overweight puts your dog at risk of health problems such as arthritis, breathing difficulties, heart problems and diabetes, and is likely to reduce how long they live.

Lazy dog

But the good news is that you can control your dog’s weight with diet and exercise.

A new study shows that overweight dogs respond well to high-protein, high-fibre diet.

Dogs who were fed a reduced calorie, high-protein, high-fibre diet for 24 weeks achieved a healthier weight without losing too much muscle mass, and blood tests showed that their serum triglycerides, insulin and inflammatory markers all decreased with weight loss. There were also positive changes in gut microbiota, according to a paper published in the Journal of Animal Science. However, if your dog happens to rapidly start losing weight, it may not be a good sign so it is important to always take them to a vet.

“Some of the problems we see in humans with obesity also occur in pet dogs,” said University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign animal sciences professor Kelly Swanson, who led the study. “There’s added stress on the joints, there’s an intolerance to exercise and heat; there’s also glucose intolerance, insulin resistance. And if you look at pet insurance claims, obesity is a big factor there.”

If you’re struggling to keep your dog at a healthy weight, your vet can offer help and advice.

When your dog has reached their ideal weight they will be healthier, happier and more active — and will have the best chance to live a long, healthy life.

Senior dog insurance from Petwise can help you take care of your four-legged friend throughout their life, providing a welcome safety net for unforeseen accidents and illnesses. Why not get a quote today?