Prevention is key, and this is the first step to preventing obesity in your pet. Some suggestions include strictly feeding a raw meat-based diet and avoiding foods with additives, preservatives and food coloring. It’s important to maintain a proper balance of proteins, fats and carbohydrates that are specifically blended for a healthy canine diet. This ensures that your dog is not deprived of the natural source of enzymes that are beneficial for healthy digestion.
Secondly, feed your pet regularly and at specific times each day. This helps prevent overfeeding and keeps your pet satiated throughout the day. Eliminate free-feeding your pet. By allowing food to sit in their bowl all day long, they will have a tendency to eat even when not hungry.
Thirdly, do keep treats to a minimum because this additional calorie load can add to the problem. The following are suggestions of treat and other food items that should be completely eliminated from your pet’s diet:
- Ice cream
- Processed cheese
- Candy, cookies and other sweets
- Cooked bones as they can tear intestinal walls (raw bones are okay)
- Salty crackers, meats, and hot dogs
- Cashews, pistachios and other nuts that are high in fat
- Tylenol or medications containing ibuprofen*
*NOTE: These items can be very harmful and even fatal for your dog. Consult your veterinarian immediately if your pet has ingested these foods.
Fourthly, make sure to make time in your busy schedule to exercise your dog regularly. Remember, some high-performance dog breeds like border collies and German Shepherds require more exercise than others so a short walk around the block might not cut it for these breeds.
Finally, feed your dog a biologically appropriate raw food (BARF) diet that is high in protein and low in carbohydrates. A BARF diet helps your pet maintain proper digestion to keep him nutritionally satisfied throughout the day and gives him the right amount of enzymes, vitamins, minerals and natural dietary ingredients he needs to stay healthy and strong.
Robert Mueller, BSc, Pharm. is a registered pharmacist, author of “Living Enzymes: The World’s Best Kept Pet Food Secret”, and co-developer of BARF World’s BARF diets patties, nuggets and supplements – the first company to make the Biologically Appropriate Raw Foods (BARF) diet conveniently available to animals everywhere. He and his wife love to travel around the world with their dog, Moxie – a Yorkshire Terrier/Maltese mix. For more articles like these and to learn more about the benefits of raw food for your pets, sign up for “The Intelligent Pet” monthly e-zine at www.barfworld.com.