You slip into last year’s bathing suit and look at yourself in the mirror. You then look over at little Sissy as she happily chews her favorite treat. That’s when you notice it; little Sissy’s figure isn’t bikini friendly either. It’s time for a diet.
After talking to your veterinarian, you discover many low fat foods that are good for you, also are healthy for Sissy. Other than her love of treats, she is in excellent health, and doesn’t have a medical concern that would require dietary restrictions. Without her treats, Sissy pouts, but with a home cooked meal she may forgive you. These meals can be cooked ahead a time, and stored in the refrigerator for a few days or in the freezer for a week.
Like you, your dog needs balanced nutrition. Proteins need to be lean with the excess fat trimmed. Before using pork or beef, talk to your vet, certain breeds should avoid them. Skinless, boneless chicken breast or turkey is least likely to cause digestive problems. Also check before cooking with any oil. Stick with the three B’s of low-fat cooking, bake, broil or boil. Eggs can be scrambled in a pan with water.
Grains and Vegetables
Brown rice, whole grain pastas and sweet potatoes are good sources of healthy carbohydrates and fiber. Cooked green beans or a combination of cooked peas and carrots provide vegetable nutrition. Although raw carrots make a good substitute for high calorie treats, it is important to check with your veterinarian before choosing your fruits and vegetables. An apple slice a day may keep the vet away, but an innocent looking grape can be toxic over time as well as raw onion.
Putting it All Together
You can combine your protein, starch and vegetable in any combination, and since dogs do not need a large amount of dairy, a teaspoon of plain nonfat yogurt or cottage cheese is a way to bind the meal together. Although organic foods are preservative free, they can be more expensive. Cook within your budget. Talk to your vet about how much to feed, and if you notice your dog is having loose stools, or if Sissy starts to make some unlady like sounds, talk to your vet about adjusting your food choices.