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Has your dog’s weight crept up? Or maybe you can’t find an overweight diet suited to your fussy eater? Whatever your concern, we’ve put together some tips to help your dog lose weight, and why a lower fat or lower calorie diet might be just the thing they need for a healthier balance.

Choices when it comes to low fat food

Dry food is popular amongst most pet parents because it has a longer shelf life and is easier to store, but they often share concerns about the impact it has on their dog’s waistline. In fact, ‘what is the healthiest kibble for my dog?’ is a question we get asked regularly. So, whether your dog has a taste for dry kibble or prefers a bowl of the wet stuff, there’s likely going to be a low fat alternative that’s right for them. The main advantage of this is being able to feed your dog without changing their type of food entirely. Good for you, good for your dog.

Fussy pooch? Low fat food can still work

You don’t need to switch out your dog’s favourite recipes, ingredients and flavours when you introduce them to a low fat diet. Certain brands have similar options in their regular food and diet lines, such as the James Wellbeloved lighter range. Your dog can still enjoy their usual James Wellbeloved Turkey & rice, made with sensitive tummies in mind and with a special recipes formulated for weight management, just with less calories than the usual offering. Look out for other brands with similar alternatives and weight loss guidelines on the packaging. The same rule applies to treats, higher quality and lower fat options, in moderation, is a good way to change your dog’s approach to treats, without cutting them out completely.

Full bowls, full bellies 

While low fat food might have fewer calories, your dog’s bowl can still stay full. Some brands use quality ingredients, like dietary fibre, to keep dogs feeling satisfied for longer. Other brands will pack extra protein into meals, again to keep dogs fuller for longer. A balanced diet is still very much attainable for your dog, satisfying their hunger while keeping their weight in check.

Support if your dog has pancreatitis

We spoke to a vet about how low fat diets can aid pancreatitis, due to these types of diets being highly digestible. The pancreas is a vital component in your dog’s digestive system, when inflamed, enzymes leak out of the pancreas, causing your dog severe pain.

These are some common signs to look out for:

Reduced or no appetite

Lethargy

Vomiting

Bouts of diarrhoea

Hunching over

Fever

Signs of dehydration

If you have any concerns that your dog might be suffering from pancreatitis, arrange an appointment for face-to-face advice from your vet. They will perform a full physical exam with extensive testing and scans. Hospitalisation, antibiotics, pain relief medication, and even feeding tubes, might be necessary in serious cases. Dietary measures might be recommended during and after recovery, including a low fat diet that’s highly digestible. There are several options on the market, including Hill’s Prescription Diet and Purina Pro Plan Veterinary.