Best food for weight loss

I’m looking for a bit of advice and recommendations to pass onto my dad for our 10 year old border collie who is overweight. Unfortunately my dad feeds him lots of treats every evening and is reluctant to give this up. I am ‘working’ on my dad and explaining how he is slowing killing him by doing this, etc. To get to the point, he is currently being fed ‘Shepherdess’ dry dog food and he’s a dog who grazes on this throughout the day but he doesn’t eat large portions.

We need to change his diet and get the weight off him. Can anyone suggest a dog food with a lower calorie intake and suggest a better feeding regime. Also, in place of the unhealthy treats, is there something he can be given to chew in the evenings, which he will enjoy but which isn’t fattening and perhaps just allow him to have the flavour?

He gets exercised and walked in the fields every day.

Many thanks in advance!

Hello and welcome to the forum
Some tips for weight control are., ensure that all food portions are weighed out. It is very easy to overestimate. You may need to experiment with portion size. You could add some low calorie veg to increase the amount and combat hunger.
Swap high calorie treats for carrots or other low calorie veg.
Have regular weight checks to see if you need to alter portions again
You could try nylabones for chewing. They are flavoured but only chewed not eaten. (some are edible to worth checking just in case)
You don’t say what your budget is or if he has any food intolerances but you can use the filter on the home page of this site to get some ideas of what to feed. If you look at the nutrients and slide the fat level to 5-9 percent that should highlight some lower fat foods This thread explains how to use the filter dogfoodfilter

ETA I also found this thread with some useful information weightcontrolthread

You may find some further advice in this thread here

I hope you can get your father on side with any changes ;D That will help. Good luck and please let us know what you decide and if you are successful with the weight loss. As you say, it is important for good health for your dog to be a healthy weight.

Thanks for your reply. I doubt I can get my dad to do any measuring, etc, he is busy and doesn’t have the patience. It would need to be simpler than that - ie: which dog food, etc. I don’t live there and work full time.

The dog turns his nose up at carrots and nylon or raw hide bones and chews. He wont pay for anything really costly but I could work on him to try and balance a dog food which is perhaps a bit more expensive against buying fewer snacks for him. I guess the dog food would need to be available locally too.

Looking for recommendations for a dog food suitable for overweight 10 year old border collie.

Hello Sas - welcome to the forum. Some good advice in the post by Tinyplanets. I think that you need to get your dad on side before you start a diet. One way you could do this is to ask your veterinary nurse if they would be willing to see your dog weekly (at first) for weighing. It might encourage him to stop feeding the treats.

The problem is that a change in food won’t help if over feeding continues. My experience is that a low fat, higher protein diet worked for my dogs. Look for the light versions - Pets at Home do these in their own product (Wainwright’s). James Wellbeloved sell one but there are many more. They can be found in the Dog Food Directory of this website - the search can be narrowed down by using the filters. BTW I cannot find the product that you mention so do not know the formula - would it be possible for you to provide information?

Treat wise, sea jerky is low calorie and helps clean teeth. You may be able to get it in store - if not, it is readily available on line. Two companies that sell it are Skippers and Fish4Dogs. Tiny pieces of cooked chicken would add protein but not too many calories. There are other low calorie treats so have a look around the forum/website and perhaps do an Internet search.

The most useful thing you can do is to encourage your dad to weigh the food. If he refuses, could you do it in the evening for the next day then put it into a covered plastic container? Argos sell digital scales for about £7 and it takes no more than a couple of minutes to weigh the food. The reason that it is so important is that if the dog fails to lose weight you will need to reduce the quantity in 10% increments and you won’t know what this is unless you have an accurate starting point.

Thanks for your reply, Dottie.

I will find out what exactly the food mix is that he is currently on. Unfortunately I don’t live with my parents and am only round once a week. I think it will have to be a ready made dog food that we substitute as there is no way my dad will cook chicken, or prepare anything beyond opening a tin or scooping out of a bag. I have to be realistic about what I can coax him to do!!

Okay, so, another aspect of the issue my had has with stopping all the evening treats is that the dog is used to this routine and my dad says if he denies him the treats then the dog thinks he is being punished. He also believes that the do is hungry and I’ve told him that he isn’t hungry, he just likes the routine and he enjoys eating the taste. So I’m slowly working on instilling into him that it isn’t cruel to deny him treats but cruel to give him them. Thus far I’ve persuaded him to cut down by halfing each treat, which I think he is doing…but then he brings out the bag of Winalot shapes and the dog gets to help himself. It really is one of these situations where, once my back is turned, dad reverts to doing his own thing. The joys!

I had a look at which dog foods our local farm and animal feedstore does. I notice there are a couple of mixes geared towards overweight dogs. There is Purina Beta Lite and also Chudley’s Lite. No idea of prices against the current brand he gets, but are these good brands and recommended?

It is good that you are working so hard on the problem - it does seem difficult. I have looked up the review of Beta Light and if I have it correct, this is the one. As you see it is not very good at all although it seems to meet the criteria for higher protein and low fat. Chudleys Lite fares better at a score of 2.2 and that review is here.

I don’t usually recommend products but I can see that you are in a tight situation with work commitments etc so I would suggest that you try Wainwright’s Light. There are two varieties - salmon and potato and turkey and rice. They are readily available at Pets at Home and are not overly expensive. Either would be an improvement on the two you mention because of the better ingredients. Another one that would be a good choice and is readily available is James Wellbeloved Light - I think there may be only one flavour, turkey. Pets at Home should stock it but it might be slightly more expensive than their own - best to compare yourself.

If you choose one of these, look at the lower end of the recommended daily allowance and take 10% off as a starting point. For instance, if the lower figure is 200g then start at 180g. Most RDAs are set quite high in the first place. If you get some small plastic bags on a roll from the supermarket you could perhaps weigh out food for the coming seven days in separate bags. That would make it really easy for your dad. Check progress in two or three weeks time and if you feel the dog isn’t losing weight then cut it down again by 10%. If your dad is in agreement, ask him to reserve some of the daily ration for use as treats in the evening. There are some toys that you can put kibble in and the dog has to work at getting it out. Might keep the dog occupied and stop your dad constantly feeding him.

Dottie, thanks for this!

Since writing I have spoken to my dad. He is currently alternating two different kinds of dry food. The Shepherdess one is made by Provimi and the other one is a mix made by our local farmer’s feed superstore. On the back of the latter it says: protein 21%, fat 10%, crude fibre 3% and crude ash 9%. Now, I’m not sure if the fat content in that mix is too much or okay.

The dog has only put on weight in the last couple of years, gradually, so I suspect it is the overfeeding of treats (Bakkers treats such as rodeo, smachs??, brekkies, winalot, pig’s ear, a cube of cheese, pate in kong, dentastick, etc, etc). I told my dad that the only one I’m in favour of is the dentastix as it is good for his oral health and that he should cut it into smaller portions so the dog feels he’s getting more!

Anyway, we’ll see how it goes and I’ll refer back to the replies you and Tinyplanets have kindly offered and take it from there…work in progress, I think! :slight_smile:

It does sound like you have a few obstacles in the way but it is doable and you sound determined to work on things. The treats probably are contributing but I know it can be hard to say no. I tend to keep lots of really small treats around and if we get the sad eyes when eating something she can’t have, I will give her one or two of those. Fish4dogs little stars are very small or sometimes I use small size kibble.

The food that your dad uses is unknown to me. I looked up Provimi and it looks as if the company is an animal feed/farming one. Clear labelling is one of the important things that a pet owner should look for when selecting a product. The other thing is that the meat source should be named (not meat/meat derivatives) and it should be first on the list. The fat is alright at 10% but the protein is too low at 21% - in my view it needs to be at least 26%. Of course you can add protein by topping the food up with chicken, meat, fish, eggs but as your dad is reluctant to do anything like that then you should look for a food that is complete.

Because I don’t have proper information regarding the exact ingredients I can only conclude that a change in food might be advantageous, irrespective of the weight issue. One of the previously mentioned products would be OK but there are many more. If you have time, read the thread here on what to look for when choosing dog food. It is a basic list but may be helpful in your situation.

You are right about the treats - they are all high calorie and pigs ears in particular are quite fatty. If you could get him to dispense with all of them (including Dentastix) and swap to low calorie sea jerky it would make quite a bit of difference but even that shouldn’t be given to excess. I can only think of one solution to the night time treats and that is to reserve some of the kibble from the daily allowance and, as mentioned before get one of those treat balls so the dog can play at getting the pieces out.

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