Could grains be part of the solution to fight dog obesity?

Snacking is the diet's no. 1 enemy for you and for Rex, the dog.

December 11, 2017

By: Henriette Bylling CEO, aka The Queen of Petfood at Aller Petfood Group

When the blood sugar level drops, the calories go in

A stable blood sugar level is the ultimate help to avoid snacking. The times when the blood sugar drops are when we get tempted by sugary or fatty high-calorie snacks. The snacks that help the body to quickly recover and regain energy.

The same goes for Rex, the dog.

If his blood sugar level drops, he will go to the “shop” where he places his order with “begging doggy eyes” and pay with a “wagging tail”: You! Whether the result is table scraps or treats is less important. Either way it is additional calories on top of those he gets from his main meals of complete dog food, which might very well be carefully dosed at each meal.

The weight equations for Rex and you are the same: If the calorie intake is higher than the calories burned, the kilos will pile on and the risk of obesity will increase day by day alongside the increased health risk.

Does the answer lie in grain free pet food? maybe not…

Often pet parents turn to light or diet pet food to lower the dog’s calorie intake. Many of these products are based on highly digestible rice or potatoes and a low number of calories per serving.

As you can see in the below grid this provides a rapid energy boost, but the digestion time is also rapid. Hence, the dog will experience a blood sugar drop prior to the next meal and will therefore feel the urge to return to you with the “begging doggy eyes” putting you on an immediate guilt trip for putting him on a diet… and oooops! – A few treats or table scraps go his way…

Is whole grain-based pet food the answer to obesity?

Dieting is not easy for you and it is not easy for Rex, the dog. Maybe we can help Rex along by feeding him grain-based pet food with a long-lasting energy? As the above grid shows, the energy of grains is released gradually and the digesting is slower. It means that when grain is included in a pet food, it will give Rex, the dog the sense of feeling full for a longer period.

In our own diets, we know that whole meal products are healthier and keep us fuller for longer. In other words, we know that we should be buying the whole meal pasta, bread etc.

So, is the conclusion that a whole grain-based food decreases Rex’s urge for “begging doggy eye shopping” and thereby also the risk of obesity? Do whole grain-based foods increase the chances of Rex losing weight to improve his health?

I welcome your comments and your take on this subject.

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