Food keeps your dog full of vitality and energy but just like us, it’s all too easy for those unwanted pounds to creep up.
We’re all becoming fatter as a nation, and that goes for our cuddly friends too.
At Butcher’s Pet Care we know that more than 1 in 3 dogs in the UK are either overweight or obese*and this figure is rising. It can lead to serious health problems like diabetes, heart disease and arthritis.
Overweight pets are also less mobile, less willing to play and get out of breath quickly which can lead to unhealthy and unhappy pets.
That’s why we have made a range of delicious tasting meaty recipes called Butcher’s Lean & Tasty, containing 30% less fat than our standard range, with added L-Carnitine, a naturally occurring nutrient that transports fat to working muscles to be used up as energy
The Doggy Weight Loss Story
Nine overweight dogs of all shapes, sizes and ages were fed a dog diet of Butcher’s Lean & Tasty for five months. Each dog was weighed every 4 weeks and their diet tailored to their needs, within a few weeks a healthy, steady weight loss was achieved in all dogs.
Once the dog(s) reached their target weights, their diets were reviewed to ensure no further weight loss and importantly no weight gains. All nine dogs have lost weight and in total they have lost 26kg!
How to achieve a healthy weight
Well done for recognising your dog is overweight. You live with your dog day to day so it’s hard to see the pounds creeping on.
Admitting your dog could do with losing weight is the first step to making a difference to their healthy and quality of life. Even though about a third of dogs are overweight few than 1 in ten owners even realise it.
It might be tough in the beginning if your dog is used to titbits and fattening treats but remember you’ll be doing them a favour in the long run by cutting them out.
Why is it important to have a healthy weight?
Overweight dogs are more prone to problems with their hearts, bones and joints. Fatter dogs can experience rapid breathing and panting are at a higher risk of diabetes.
If your dog is a healthy weight he’ll get more out of life. He’ll be more able to walk and run and he’ll be a companion who’s more fun. Often dogs, who slim down, like us owners, seem to have a fresh lease of life.
Your vet will usually offer a free weight and health check or see our Dog Sizeometer as a guide click here
If your pet has an existing medical condition, speak to your vet about the most suitable diet and exercise programme for your dog.
To help guard against weight gain, you need to cut back on the calories your dog eats – here’s how:
- Reduce treats
- Consider feeding more wet food than dry, since dry food can be four times as calorific compared to wet
- If necessary, reduce the food given at mealtimes
- Increase exercise and play
Keeping a dog’s mind off his stomach?
Food and play are probably the two great loves of your dog’s life, apart from you of course! So to keep his mind off the food step up the play!
The key messages is distraction, distraction, distraction!
- Do more exercise, increase daily walks but do it gradually.
- Spend more time outside; even the laziest of dogs can be tempted by the smells of the great outdoors.
- If its hard to get outside, play hide and seek with a dog toy if there’s enough room.
- Reward your dog with non-food treats like strokes and affection or a favourite toy. You are loved more than food!
- Give your pet healthy snacks like carrots and chewy rawhide or bones.
- Make sure there’s fresh water on offer at all times
Lean & Tasty
Play is one way of losing weight however food is critical to weight management. Thanks to Butcher’s Lean & Tasty canned and foil tray ranges, you can feed a meal your dogs will love the taste of without adding to his waistline.
Butcher’s Lean & Tasty is a range of complete meals that:
- Has all the yummy meatiness you’d expect from Butcher’s
- With the added bonus of 30 per cent less fat and fewer calories than standard products
- Plus, the addition of L-carnitine helps convert fat into energy more efficiently
- Use naturally lean meat, and are steam cooked to capture the meaty goodness and fresh taste that dogs love
- Is soya and gluten-free and contains no artificial colours, flavours or preservatives so it is easily digested
Your dog won’t even realise that you’re watching his weight for him! Take a look at some of our doggy weight loss stories of how nine overweight dogs of all shapes and sizes trialled Lean & Tasty for five months to help them reach their target weight. If you’re interested in trialling Lean & Tasty for your dog, download our dog food diary chart which helps you monitor your dog’s weight.
So if you’re struggling with your dog’s weight, follow our top tips for a healthy, happier dog.
*Healthy Happy Hound Report Jan 2013: based on a study of 2,000 UK dog owners
Making the switch
Switching to Butcher’s Lean & Tasty couldn’t be easier. It has all of the meaty goodness of our standard product but with 30% less fat and few calories. You won’t be depriving your dog; it’s a nutritious complete and delicious meal and your dog probably won’t notice the difference!
Swapping food should be done in stages over a few days by mixing the old food with the new.
Day1: 75% old food – 25% Butcher’s Lean & Tasty
Day2: 50% old food – 50% Butcher’s Lean & Tasty
Day3: 50% old food – 50% Butcher’s Lean & Tasty
Day 4: 25% old food – 75% Butcher’s Lean & Tasty
Day 5: 100% Butcher’s Lean & Tasty
What to feed & when?
How much to feed your dog depends on age, breed and how activie it is.
There are two programmes with Butcher’s Lean & Tasty, weight loss and weight maintenance.
Feeding guidelines on the packaging are a guide only.
Establish a permanant routine for meals so your dog knows what to expect and you know exactly what to feed when too. Think about dividing the dog’s food up into 2 or 3 meals a day because feedling little and often this will become their treat or reward.
For the programme to work stay strong! Don’t overfeed or give food treats as rewards.