Maintaining Healthy Weight

Prescription diets r/d &  w/d make it easy to help your pet keep that slim figure.



I have my dog on diet food & he is now @ his required weight. Should I change to regular food or give him more of the diet food, because he acts like he’s starving all the time.


Dr. Nichol:

Good job! Do you know how often I preach my weight loss sermon to the owners of fat dogs? It’s really remarkable. I tell people that their dog is overweight. I say it delicately. But I get these looks of disbelief. Then responses like “Do you really think so?” or “He hardly eats a thing” or (one of my personal favorites) “It’s really just a lot of hair, doc. There must be 5 pounds of hair on him. He really just needs grooming.” Puhleese. It’s like they can talk me out of their dog being fat. If a pet owner can plead really hard with me I won’t insist on putting their baked potato on tooth picks on a weight loss diet and save his life. OK, I’m done now. I’m stepping down from the pulpit.


Yes, if your dog has returned to his normal weight you can put him on a more enjoyable diet. Here is how it works. As the body takes in more calories than it needs for day to day function it stores those calories as fat. A moderate amount of fat is good because it gives us a reserve “fuel tank” in case we get sick and need it to survive. But excessive amounts overload organs like the heart and kidneys. It strains our joints and leads to painful arthritis. I hate it when that happens.


You, on the other hand, have given your beloved pet the gift of health by correcting his weight problem. The easy and safe way to do this for most pets is to feed prescription diet r/d (your veterinarian has it). R/d is very different than regular or “light” diets because it is very high in fiber and low in fat. It allows an overweight pet to eat fairly generous portions and still lose weight. But when you can feel your dog’s ribs with your fingertips (not see his ribs-feel them) he is about right. Now that he has reached his goal you want to stop his weight loss and maintain his now healthy weight. Do this with prescription diet w/d


Isn’t that easy? The truth is that it really is pretty easy for the pets. The real cause of the shortened unhealthy lives of overweight dogs and cats is not the critters themselves but their owners. It’s the mistaken belief that we can show our love with French fries and ice cream. But you can share that puppy love much longer by feeding only healthy amounts of a balanced dog food (that’s DOG food) then taking a brisk walk together. Imagine giving that to your dog-and improving your own health and energy level while you’re at it. It’s good when that happens.