Overweight dogs face numerous health risks, just as overweight people do. They can develop diabetes, arthritis, high blood pressure and heart, breathing and liver problems. If your dog is overweight, you can improve the quality of its life---and even lengthen it---by putting it on a diet. You can purchase commercial low-calorie dog food designed to help dogs lose weight, but some dog owners prefer to make their own homemade dog food. That way they have control over the ingredients and know it's a fresh, healthy choice for their dogs.
Select a variety of lean cuts of meat. Chicken, turkey, lean beef and seafood all make good choices. Use a variety of meats and vegetables when preparing homemade dog food to make sure your dog gets all the nutrients it needs. You do not need to use a variety of meats and vegetables in each batch of food, though. One week you can use chicken and carrots. Next week, vary the diet with beef and broccoli. Make sure you provide a variety of foods over time.
Mix a ratio of two parts lean meat with one part brown rice and one part cooked vegetables for your homemade dog food. Cook the meat and chop it into small bits. Or you might want to feed your dog raw meat mixed with vegetables, which helps in cases of allergies and other autoimmune issues. Be sure to practice proper hygiene when handling raw meat due to the risk of salmonella and other bacterial problems.
Select a variety of fresh vegetables and lightly steam them. Leafy greens, carrots, squash, celery, broccoli and cauliflower are all good choices. Non-starchy vegetables are low in calories and will help your dog lose weight. Chop them into small bits.
Cook some brown rice. Use a ratio of one part brown rice and one part cooked vegetables to two parts lean meat. Use slightly less rice if you wish or cut it out altogether. A diet that is lower in carbohydrates will help your dog lose weight.
Combine the cooked meat, steamed vegetables and brown rice. Stir well. Add a little bit of the water from steaming the vegetables to make it moist.
Add 1,000 mg. calcium per pound of dog food that you make. You can purchase calcium in powder form or you can buy calcium tablets and grind them into a powder. Stir the calcium powder into the dog food.
- Adjust this recipe to prepare small amounts of food or large amounts of food, depending on the size of your pet and how often you wish to cook dog food.
- Talk to your veterinarian about how much to feed your dog each day. Divide the daily amount into two to four servings and feed your dog two to four times per day.
- Allow dog food to cool before serving it to your dog. Store leftover dog food in the refrigerator for up to three days. If you wish to prepare larger batches of food at one time, store some in an airtight container in the freezer for up to six weeks.
- Talk to your vet about your dog's weight. An overweight pet should be checked for thyroid problems and blood sugar problems, just as an overweight person should have a checkup with a physician.