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Is your dog overweight?

Your dog can eat exactly the same calories as another dog of the same breed, age and gender and have similar exercise routines, yet you can see the size difference.

In 2019, the University of Liverpool research revealed the lifespan of overweight dogs was up to 2.5 years shorter than that of normal-weight dogs. The latter group also had delayed onset of chronic illnesses. Back and joint problems are well known but obesity affects many systems in the body. Fat tissue does not just sit there, it produces hormones that can increase inflammation inside the body. 

You want your dog to lose the pounds healthily and keep them off.  How your dog burns calories depends on various factors, some you can control some you cannot.  Each body has a point of reference for weight. Genes, environment and behaviors all affect this reference point. Your dog’s body will try to keep the weight above this point. This is why some dog breeds are prone to weight gain; and why it is more difficult for some individual dogs to shed the extra pounds and keep them off.

If there are 2 foods with identical nutritional analysis and calories content, but one is highly processed and the other minimally processed, dogs on the latter diet will naturally and gradually eat less on their own. Minimally processed foods are more nutrient dense and more digestible. Nature drives evolution. Living organisms evolve to use the nutrients endowed by nature. They cannot efficiently process all the colours, flavours and nutrients artificially added to compensate what the highly commercial manufacturing process had destroyed.  

If the heavier body weight is not due to underlying medical issues, move away from the calorie counter and focus on improving food quality and lifestyle, including an exercise routine suitable for your dog’s life stage. These will bring long-term changes in a healthy and natural way.  A vibrant dog means fewer visits to the vets.