Best Weight Loss Dog Food For Golden Retriever, What should I feed my overweight golden retriever? , How can a golden retriever lose weight?
Is your Golden Retriever overweight, fat, or obese? Do you want to know how to make your Golden Retriever lose weight safely and what their ideal weight is?
Find out which is the best diet dog food.
Is an overweight fat or obese Golden Retriever dog healthy or not?
A cuddly little dog, with a few extra pounds, we don’t mind, right?
Sometimes I read on Facebook groups or forums: “How much does your Golden Retriever weigh?” And here immediately starts the challenge of who has the greatest Golden Retrievers of all! That’s what we all probably want, is it?
A skinny dog tells a story of neglect or lack of love, and none of us would want to be an owner who puts their dog in these health conditions.
It often happens that we do not think about a healthy diet and lifestyle for our dog.
Always thinking of doing him good, we offer him the best food, his favorite snacks, and tasty morsels, and at the same time, we assure him a sedentary life, full of cuddles on the sofa.
All this could instead be the beginning of the problems. Once you’ve crossed the obesity threshold, your vet will definitely advise you on how to get your dog to lose weight as soon as possible.
In this article, you will find a number of tips on how to make your Golden Retrievers lose weight in the safest way by using the best diet kibble for obese or neutered dogs that could help you get your furry friend back happy, beautiful, and above all healthy.
Is my Golden Retriever overweight, fat, or obese?
Like humans, dogs also need to be weighed regularly to determine if they are within the correct weight limits. To ensure that your Golden Retrievers’ weight is correct, it needs to be compared to the optimal weight of his breed.
It is not always possible to visually judge whether a Golden Retriever is overweight, fat, or obese the simplest solution is to compare the weight ranges of the animal’s breed. Values above the upper limit may indicate that the dog is overweight, fat, or obese.
It will always be your veterinarian during the check-ups to assess the health of your friend by weighing him and examining him accurately.
Indicative weight of the adult dog for some dog breeds
|Race||Female (kg)||Male (kg)|
|Bernese Mountain Dog||36–48||38–50|
Visual assessment of your dog’s ideal body weight (BCS scale)
Determining the ideal weight for a dog is not always easy. It can be problematic, especially when the dog is a cross of different breeds.
For the visual assessment of the weight of all dogs, the 5 or 9-point scale, the so-called Body Condition Score (BCS), is usually used. Both scales (5 or 9 points) describe the conditions of pets:
- from extreme emaciation, underweight
- through a perfect body
- to overweight and obesity.
On the BCS scale, the lowest number always indicates cachexia (extreme thinness), and the highest is obesity.
Assessment of the quadruped’s condition should consist of visual assessment, but also palpation (using the hand). The latter is of particular importance in long-haired dogs, such as Golden Retrievers, for which the optical assessment alone can be misleading.
How to Evaluate Your Golden Retrievers’ Weight?
- The ribs must not be visible: they must be touched with the hand, so as to be sure that there is not too much fat.
- The abdominal area must have some fat but must not be sagging.
- The legs must not show the shape of the bones, but must be covered with muscle and fat.
How do you determine if my Golden Retriever is overweight?
Loss of muscle definition
If you can’t tell your dog’s belly from the waist, then your dog is overweight, fat, or obese.
An obese dog has the chest, abdomen, and waist united in a single oval shape.
Inability to reach parts of his body
An obese dog may not be able to reach certain parts of the body for example when they feel itchy. The extra fat on your dog limits his most basic movements. The layer of fat restricts movement in the joints so that the twists and turns that come naturally to dogs are difficult to perform.
For an overweight or obese dog, the basic maneuvers are difficult, you can imagine how the additional weight affects his mobility. Not only does he walk slower, but he also runs a shorter distance and pants heavily during physical activities.
Persistent gas and constipation
Constipation and persistent gas are not always definitive signs that your dog is overweight, but obese dogs tend to suffer from constipation and gas more than dogs with optimal weight.
Dogs with extra pounds often have digestive problems, which cause them not to break down food as effectively as it does in healthy dogs.
Carbohydrates become difficult to digest, resulting in constant flatulence.
What breed of dogs are most common to be overweight?
• Labrador Retriever
• Golden Retriever
• Basset hound
• Cavalier King
• Scottish Shepherd
• Bernese Mountain Dog
How to help Golden Retriever to lose weight
Your dog needs not only a better diet but also daily physical activity to help him return to his ideal weight.
How to make your dog lose weight with physical activity?
To start, dedicate at least half an hour to your Golden Retrievers’ physical activity. A good routine should take up to 2 hours a day. It shouldn’t be too intense at first. A nice walk will be perfect.
Reduce food intake if your Golden Retriever is overweight, fat, or obese
Start by reducing the portions of his usual food to make sure your dog consumes only what he actually needs:
- If your Golden Retrievers eat the croquettes, adjust the portions based on the tables on the packages by choosing the lowest values, but still within the limits proposed by the manufacturer.
- Make sure that the food contains probiotics and fiber: it is the main culprit for Golden Retrievers’ overweight.
- Fiber makes your Golden Retrievers fuller for longer and will aid in digestion, just like it does for humans.
- To satiate your Golden Retrievers, without making them gain weight, you can add vegetables to their diet.
- Rewards must be checked and calculated in portions. Always use the scale to measure your Golden Retrievers’ food
Vegetables suitable for Golden Retriever
The vegetables that Golden Retriever can eat and most chosen by their owners are:
Tomatoes can be given only and exclusively if they are very ripe since the unripe ones can contain significant quantities of solanine, a toxic alkaloid that is not metabolized by the dog and that can cause digestive tract disorders as well as tachycardia, tremors, and difficulty breathing.
Vegetables can be offered raw so that they retain their nutrients (such as vitamins) intact. To aid digestion, it is advisable to chop them by grating them, cutting them into small pieces, or blending them and mixing them with the rest of the food so that they cannot be discarded by the dog.
Basic tips for proper nutrition for overweight, fat, or obese Golden Retriever
- Do not fill the bowl beyond the established dose.
- Divide your meals into 3 servings per day.
- Set specific times.
- If you use dog snacks, remember that they should provide a maximum of 10% of their daily energy intake. You should also subtract the calorie equivalent of the snack from the main amount of food.
- If you are using dietetic food for overweight dogs, the reduced fat content makes it less appetizing than a standard one. You can try to spice up the dietary content of the bowl by heating moist food or adding water to the bowl with dry food.
- If your dog asks for more food, try to distract him by playing or taking him for a walk.
- It is a good idea to use olfactory mats or dog toys where food can be hidden, extending the meal time. Read also my article on mental activation games for adult dogs and puppies where you will find many ideas.
Diet change for an overweight, fat, obese, or neutered Golden Retriever
If portion reduction is not enough, a change in diet will be necessary :
- Less fat and more lean meat will help your dog reduce its weight.
- The best food for an overweight, fat, or obese dog will feature important nutrients and a good percentage of protein and carbohydrates
Characteristics of the best light diet croquettes for overweight, fat, or obese Golden Retrievers
If on the one hand, homemade baby food is more natural and tasty, on the other hand, industrial feed – as long as it is of excellent quality – represents balanced, but above all complete food.
If you want to prepare your dog’s meals, it’s a good idea to ask your vet for a consultation.
If you choose to use kibble instead, you should choose dietary kibble for overweight, fat, or obese dogs with these characteristics:
Low in calories
The lower the calories in food, the better the diet works. However, the low-calorie intake should not be interpreted as a compromise on the important nutritional aspects of the feed. So, choose a dietary dog food that has less fat but more protein.
Protein helps build muscle and shouldn’t be turned into fat. It, therefore, takes more energy to break down proteins. Make sure the protein is of quality and does not come from animal by-products.
Whole wheat and natural ingredients
To combat indigestion, constipation, and gas that often plague overweight pets, make sure the diet dog food you buy contains a good amount of natural fiber and whole grains.
To aid digestion as well, make sure the food contains quality protein and no animal by-products are present.
Additionally, diet dog kibble should contain vegetables, fruits, natural carbohydrates and animal fats as all of these ingredients are necessary for healthy digestion.
Adequate fat content
Diet kibble for dogs should contain at least 4% fat to ensure that your dog is getting the necessary fat for his energy needs. When dog owners hear the words overweight, fat, or obese associated with their pets, they often avoid fats altogether.
This is a big mistake because fats are essential for your dog’s well-being in any case. Instead of eliminating fat, choose a dietary dog food that contains animal-based fats in the right quantities.
6 Best Weight Loss Dog Food For Golden Retriever
All of the dog foods listed below meet the AAFCO nutrient profile guidelines. Before switching your dog’s food, please consult with your veterinarian.
1. ORIJEN Fit & Trim Dog Food, Healthy Weight Recipe, Grain Free
Main features –
- First 5 Ingredients: Chicken, Chicken Liver, Turkey Giblets, Turkey, Cod
- Guaranteed Analysis: 42% Crude Protein, 13% Crude Fat, 8% Crude Fiber, 12% Moisture
- Caloric Content: 401 kcal/cup
- Key Feature: High-protein and low-fat dry dog food high in fiber for digestive support
Reasons to suggest–
- Orijen Fit & Trim diet dog food is a Premium Quality dry food of one of the best products on the market.
- Perfect for overweight, fat or obese dogs or dogs with a tendency to gain weight (even after neutering): with 42% protein nutrients, 17% carbohydrates, and a unique blend of soluble fiber, which promotes mass development and lean muscle, promoting optimal body functions.
- Therefore, it is ideal for fat or sterilized dogs that lead a less dynamic lifestyle or are naturally predisposed to get heavy.
- Orijen Fit & Trim Dietary Dog Foods contain 85% whole animal ingredients such as free-range chicken and turkey, wild-caught fish, and eggs from cage-free hens.
- The infusions of freeze-dried liver intensify the flavor and palatability in a natural way, making Orijen dry food delicious even for the most demanding animal palates.
- 2/3 of the animal ingredients are fresh (refrigerated, without preservatives) or raw (instantly frozen, without preservatives) to provide essential nutrients in their richest and most natural form, while 1/3 of these are dehydrated at 90 ° C to obtain a more concentrated source of protein, not obtainable from fresh animal ingredients alone.
- Orijen’s Fit & Trim diet kibble for overweight dogs is high in protein, with a limited carbohydrate content.
- Lentils, chickpeas, squash, fruits, and vegetables release sugar gradually, dramatically decreasing the potential for fat storage.
- Gluten-free and grain-free, without vegetable protein extracts or concentrates (such as potatoes or soy), low in high-glycemic carbohydrates (such as tapioca, rice, or potatoes), and with animal ingredients, 100% suitable for human consumption, the dietetic croquettes for dogs overweight, fat or obese Orijen Fit & Trim respect the natural and evolutionary diet of the dog, to achieve optimal health conditions.
2. ACANA Light & Fit Recipe Grain-Free Adult Dry Dog Food
Main features –
- First 5 Ingredients: Deboned Chicken, Deboned Turkey, Chicken Meal, Turkey Meal, Whole Red Lentils
- Guaranteed Analysis: 33% Crude Protein, 10% Crude Fat, 8% Crude Fiber, 12% Moisture
- Caloric Content: 3055 kcal/kg, 348 kcal/cup
- Key Feature: Grain-Free, Weight Control, High-Protein, Natural, Raw, No Corn No Wheat No Soy
Reasons to suggest–
- Acana Light & Fit Dietary Dog Food is another high-quality product, offering a high protein diet promoting lean muscle mass and healthy body weight.
- These diet kibble for overweight, fat, or obese dogs are packed with meat, organs, cartilage, and bones from free-range chicken and flounder, as well as eggs from cage-free hens.
- Whole animal ingredients mean your dog gets everything he needs in its most nutritious form, providing nutrients naturally, without long lists of synthetic additives.
- Acana Light & Fit dietary dry food for dogs contains a reduced content of carbohydrates and calories, promoting lean muscles.
- Acana diet dry dog food, as well as Orijen, are both made by one of the best pet food manufacturers Champion Petfoods in Canada.
- They represent a category of dog food that would like to mirror the animal’s natural diet, based almost exclusively on meat.
- Acana‘s philosophy is to reproduce the same genuineness, freshness, and variety of animal ingredients that dogs would find in nature when hunting.
- Acana then proposes dog food whose recipes include the same ingredients that would be found inside the prey.
- Acana, as well as Orijen, prepares all dog food in its kitchens, in order to carry out direct checks on the origin of the fresh ingredients, on every aspect of cooking, packaging, and quality control.
- The whole Light & Fit Recipe is completely Grain Free, with a higher protein content (29-35%). Contains a high amount of fresh whole prey meat (60-75%).
3. Farmina, Natural & Delicious Low-Grain Chicken Dog
Main features –
- First 5 Ingredients: Deboned Chicken, Dehydrated Chicken (Source of Glucosamine & Chondroitin Sulfate), Whole Spelt, Whole Oats, Chicken Fat (Preserved with Mixed Tocopherols)
- Guaranteed Analysis: 30% Crude Protein, 18% Crude Fat, 2.9% Crude Fiber, 10% Moisture
- Caloric Content: 1,971 kcal/lb, 435 kcal/cup
- Key Feature: Low Glycemic, Pea-Free, Non-GMO, Natural, With Grain
Reasons to suggest–
- Farmina N&D Cane Ancestral Light Dietary Croquettes for Overweight Dogs with Chicken and Pomegranate represents a different approach to the healthy diet of overweight, fat or obese dogs
- The N&D Ancestral Grain line offers a very natural product, which instead of legumes present in grain-free diets (which are not always well tolerated by all dogs) or high carbohydrate cereals (such as rice or corn) offers cereals, but strictly ancestral.
- It is a complete food for dogs with a low glycemic index as it is made using strictly ancestral cereals.
- Since dogs in nature feed mainly on meat, the carbohydrate percentage of this food is intentionally limited and consists of:
- 60% of ingredients of animal origin
- 20% ancestral cereals (of which 10% oats and 10% spelled)
- 20% fruit and vegetables that complete the formulation making it balanced from a nutritional point of view
- Thanks to the use of alternative cereals, Farmina, Natural & Delicious Low-Grain Chicken Dog dietary kibble for light dogs helps stabilize blood sugar and help prevent diabetes.
- Natural ingredients such as blueberries, pomegranate powder, apple, spinach, currant, and orange, then strengthen the defenses and support the functioning of the dog’s organs while providing important vitamins.
- These light dietary croquettes for overweight, fat, or obese dogs contain natural antioxidants that allow the product to be preserved in a totally natural way.
- In addition, Farmina, Natural & Delicious Low-Grain Chicken Dog are packaged in a protected atmosphere to avoid fat oxidation and keep the product always fresh.
- Without genetically modified ingredients, it is extremely palatable and digestible and therefore also suitable for animals with digestive sensitivities and food intolerances or allergies.
4. Hill’s Prescription Diet Metabolic Weight Management Chicken Flavor Dry Dog Food
Main features –
- First 5 ingredients: Chicken Meal, Whole Grain Wheat, Whole Grain Corn, Soybean Mill Run, Corn Gluten Meal
- Type of product: Veterinary Diet
- Life stage: Adult
- Best for : Long-term weight management
Reasons to suggest–
- Hill’s Metabolic Diet Dog Food is food specifically designed to facilitate weight loss.
- The formula of this feed is based on nutrigenomics studies and acts on the animal’s metabolism, promoting the loss of 28% of body fat within two months and avoiding any subsequent weight gains.
- The American company Hill’s was the first in the world to introduce veterinary diets in the pet sector, back in the 1950s.
- The Prescription Diet line has been gradually enriched and still represents a fundamental reference point for the nutrition of animals with health problems.
- Hill’s Pet Nutrition – Prescription Diet Metabolic are dietary kibble for dogs that have been proven to deliver great results.
- This food formula works by using ingredients that keep your dog fuller for longer while providing energy. Contains whole grains, fruits, and vegetables, as well as a good amount of antioxidants and minerals.
- The key ingredients are chicken meal, pork fat, pork and chicken liver flavors, whole wheat and corn, corn gluten meal and soy flour, as well as pea fiber, dried tomato pulp, and beet pulp.
- As this is a special diet, it is recommended that you contact your vet if you are unsure of the portions.
5. Hill’s Science Diet Dry Dog Food, Adult, Perfect Weight for Healthy Weight & Weight Management
Main features –
- First 5 ingredients: Chicken, Cracked Pearled Barley, Brown Rice, Pea Fiber, Corn Gluten Meal
- Guaranteed Analysis: 24% Crude Protein, 9% Crude Fat, 5% Crude Fiber, 10% Moisture
- Caloric Content: 3191 kcal/kg (299 kcal/cup)
- Best for: Weight Control, With Grain
Reasons to suggest–
- If your friend is getting heavier and heavier, you should put him on a diet to establish his health. Hill’s Science Plan Perfect Weight diet dog food could help lose excess weight in the overweight, fat, or obese dog.
- With the Science Plan Perfect Weight formula, results are guaranteed within 10 weeks.
- If you think that making your friend lose weight will be a tedious and tiring endeavor, with this diet you will be able to make this process a tasty and simple journey.
- Chicken, the main ingredient in this recipe, makes it delicious and effective in building lean muscle mass.
- Additionally, the protein content is enhanced by the addition of dehydrated chicken and turkey, which is also a rich source of glucosamine and chondroitin, both vital components for bone mobility and strength respectively.
- The tomato pulp in the recipe provides additional fiber for better digestion and good intestinal functioning.
- Few carbohydrates, obtained from peas and brown rice provide adequate energy. L – carnitine helps burn excess fat and beetroot pulp, it is a rich source of probiotics your friend needs for good bowel function.
- It will also improve the health of your dog’s skin and coat, thanks to a good dose of the omega-3 and 6 fatty acids in flaxseed. Vegetables and fruits balance the recipe for better taste, as well as digestive benefits.
- Hill’s Perfect Weight dietetic kibble for dogs is recommended for neutered and adult dogs that require a lower calorie intake (not very active, neutered or with a tendency to gain weight)
6. NUTRO ULTRA Adult Weight Management High Protein Natural Dry Dog Food for Weight Control
Main features –
- First 5 ingredients: Chicken, Chicken Meal (source of glucosamine and chondroitin), Whole Grain Brown Rice, Whole Grain Sorghum, Whole Grain Barley
- Guaranteed Analysis: 26% Crude Protein, 9% Crude Fat, 12% Crude Fiber, 4% Moisture
- Caloric Content: 3346 kcal/kg, 325 kcal/cup
- Best for Non-GMO, Molasses-Free, Natural, Pea-Free, Weight Control, No Corn No Wheat No Soy, High-Protein
Reasons to suggest–
- Nutro’s Ultra Weight Management Program is Nutro’s second product. How can this formula be so unique in such a competitive market?
- Protein comes from three sources: lamb, fish, and chicken. This triple protein barrier helps build lean muscle mass in your dog, ensuring he stays strong and healthy without gaining weight.
- This product contains 15 superfoods. This product will introduce your dog to a variety of flavors including chia seeds, cabbage, blueberries, and coconut. You want your dog to love his food so he isn’t hungry.
- Nutro’s dog food is a superhit product. Their all-natural recipe is free from cheap fillers, artificial flavors, preservatives, corn, wheat, and soy.
- With Nutros weight loss dog food, you will have no problem keeping your dog’s weight under control as long as you feed him the correct portion accompanied by daily exercise.
What makes a Golden Retriever overweight, fat, or obese?
Wild dogs, living in the wild, ate rarely, but very abundantly :
- They only hunted when they were hungry.
- They ate their prey quickly, for fear of the higher ranking dogs in the hierarchy.
- They ate abundantly because they didn’t know when the next opportunity to feed would come
Modern domestic dogs share some of these ancestral feeding behaviors, even if they don’t have to compete with other pets for food. They eat greedily and quickly (for fear of other predators), they also eat when full, so they shouldn’t have constant access to food.
These behaviors are so strong that some dogs are never able to get full (despite a full bowl), so the owner plays an important role in maintaining their proper body weight.
The age at which dogs start to gain extra pounds varies depending on the average life expectancy of the breed.
It is assumed that the tendency to gain weight becomes maximum in the middle age of the dog, that is, at the age of several years.
The likelihood of becoming overweight, fat or obese dog decreases around the age of 12-14.
The weight of an adult dog depends on many factors
- Genetics (individual or racial predisposition to gain weight)
Genetic factors and dog body weight
Some dog breeds, such as Labradors or Golden Retrievers, have a tendency to accumulate body fat, so their weight should be controlled with the right food and an adequate amount of physical activity.
Some may also show a family tendency to gain weight, which is genetically passed on.
Hormonal factors: spayed dogs
The energy requirement after castration is reduced by about 25-30%. Castration ( sterilization ) of animals causes a decrease in the production and secretion of sex hormones: testosterone and estrogen.
After the ovaries or testicles have been removed, the hormonal balance of the whole body is restored, which results in an accumulation of fat under the skin and an increased appetite, turning it into an overweight, fat or
Behavioral factors and dog body weight
Does your dog have a ravenous appetite and eat whatever he can find? If he’s still a puppy, there’s a good chance he’ll change his habits with your help.
The situation becomes more complicated when dealing with an adult or senior dog who is simply greedy.
In a situation where your dog exhibits excessive appetite, consult your veterinarian or an experienced behaviorist.
Environmental factors and dog body weight
It is not only the quantity and type of food that affects your pet’s body weight. Physical activity is also important.
The frequency and duration of walks, exercises, training – a lot is up to you. Always respect the recommended daily amounts of food.
Choose food that is suitable for your pet’s size, activity, and breed. Exercise together to keep both of you healthy!
The consequences for an overweight, fat, or obese dog are so many. Prevention is better than cure, so take action and keep your four-legged friend in good condition.
Consequences of overweight, fat, and obesity
- Diseases of the bones and joints
- Cardiovascular diseases
- Difficulty with breathing
- Rapid fatigue (exercise dyspnea)
- Urinary incontinence (in females)
- Difficulty during childbirth (in females)
A chubby dog may seem cute, but the consequences of obesity on their health can be fatal in some cases.
With the right choices of the best light diet kibble for dogs, and adequate exercise you give your furry friend the chance to live his life in the best ways and enjoy the little things he should and would like to do, such as running after you wagging his tail happily. or just scratch easily where he wants when he feels itchy.
Controlling your dog’s weight is one of the most loving things you can do as a mom or dad to a little dog. Do it for the sake of his health and his happiness.
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