Allgemeiner Deutscher Rottweiler-Klub e.V.

Treats for overweight dogs?

leckerli rottweiler futalis

Family K. asks: Our Rottweiler has a little too much on his ribs and now the vet has advised us to reduce the treats. But he is always so hungry and begs everyone! Do you have any advice?

If a dog is overweight, it should be fed in such a way that it slowly loses weight and regains its ideal weight. The entire daily ration must be checked and adjusted, i.e. the main food, all treats (including those from the neighbor or grandma), chewing bones or chewing sticks, gifts from the table and also self-organized food from the garden or the garbage can. If the owner keeps control of the total amount of energy consumed each day, certain treats are also possible. I would like to explain what this means in concrete terms below. First of all, the main food is adapted to the dog's current energy requirements.

This will probably be far below the actual energy intake - often 50% or less, because the dog has gained weight with the previous energy supply - but now it is supposed to lose weight. So that the amount of food does not have to be cut back too much, a low-energy, low-fat and high-fiber food is selected that is suitable for reducing excess weight. Special medical diet food should be selected to achieve optimum effects. Everything that your dog receives on the side must be included in the daily ration. The same applies to all food supplements: avoid high-energy foods and limit the amount consumed. Fatty treats, leftover sausage and the like are forbidden.

Above all, the uncontrolled intake of food of all kinds - for example from the table, on walks or from well-meaning fellow human beings - should be prevented. If these basic rules are followed, it is perfectly possible to give low-fat, high-fiber treats that are suitable for overweight dogs. It is only important that they are included in the daily ration and that the quantity is limited. Treats, chewing bones and other additional food should make up a maximum of 10 % of the daily energy intake so that the dog's diet is balanced.

A piece of cucumber can also be given to keep them occupied, as this contains hardly any additional energy. Care should be taken with other vegetables or fruit, however, as these can be high in energy. It is ideal if you can simply use a few larger chunks from the main food as a reward instead of separate treats. This is the best way to keep track of your dog's daily energy intake. Some dog owners even let their dog work out a large part of the main food themselves - with the help of small obedience exercises or dog games, on the go or at home. This also increases the dog's activity level to support weight loss and promotes the bond between dog and owner.

If you follow all this advice, you will make the reduction diet period much easier for you and your dog. Even if your dog still always seems hungry and begs you - persevere! The reduction diet only lasts for a certain period of time until the ideal weight is reached again. If you don't stick to the guidelines, you will only prolong the time unnecessarily and make it more difficult for your dog to lose weight. As soon as the ideal weight is reached, your dog's energy requirements will increase again and he can be given a little more food. Of course, the principle of keeping control of the daily ration and preventing your dog from gaining weight again still applies. Your vet can advise you on which food and supplements are suitable for your dog during and after the reduction diet.


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