By Colleen Collier, QK Animal Wellness and Veterinary Technician
We have such a control over our beloved pets that helping them become healthier should not be too difficult. Believe it or not there is a limit to the amount of calories a dog should get a day. For example, a 10lb dog should only be getting 300calories PER DAY. With that being said, a lot of those commercial treats (Jumbones, Busy bones, Beggin’ strips, etc) are loaded with calories. Looking at those things, you think, how many calories could one have?
A small Jumbone itself has 297 calories. Right there is your 10lb canines’ limit for calories with just one bone. You have to also feed him/her breakfast and dinner and depending on the food/brand it could be 300+ calories each cup. If your pet doesn’t get enough exercise a day this could all be the perfect formula for the creation of an obese pet.
So, let’s talk about diet, I believe all dogs should be fed twice a day instead of once a day. It keeps their metabolism high and keeps the fat burning even when they are just resting. One of my favorite diets is “the green bean diet”. How it works, is you give half the amount of food each meal serving and a handful of frozen green beans. For example: if you feed your pet 1 cup of food in the morning and night, you cut it down to a ½ cup morning and night plus the handful of green beans. The green beans not only give the pet essential nutrients but it also has a good amount of fiber in them. This fiber will help them feel fuller for longer to get them through to dinner time. Our next change would be to cut out all those unnecessary commercial dog treats. Some things you could replace them with is a slice of apple, banana, carrots or zucchini, etc. All those options are not only loaded with positive nutrients but have a very low-calorie count.
Even with this diet change you will notice a loss of weight, your beloved friend will probably be feeling peppier! Which is great, so let’s ease him/her into an exercise routine. Start with a short walk, a couple minutes of throwing the ball. Increase the time limit each week to build up their stamina and minimize the chances of pulling a tendon or ligament. Before you know it you will have a happier, healthier dog!
Calorie Intake Per Day
10 lb. dog….…300 calories
20 lb. dog….…500 calories
40 lb. dog…..1,000 calories
60 lb. dog…..1,300 calories
80 lb. dog….1,600 calories