Banting, Weigh-Less or low fat food? (Part 4 of 4)

How to keep your pet’s weight in check

Should my pet do the Banting diet?

Dr Omar Mehtar answers: Banting for humans is a contentious topic. For pets, I would imagine it would be even worse. What is good for us humans doesn’t equate to what is good for our pets! Cats, for instance, are obligate carnivores. They must have meat – not just protein, but actual protein from an animal. If they don’t have this, they will lack certain amino acids which will make them dangerously ill and, if not corrected quickly, they can die. Dogs are more omnivorous.

Domesticated dogs have adapted to life with humans quite well. They are far removed from their wild cousins of wolves and wild dogs. A domesticated dog is so far removed from our own African wild dogs that they cannot reproduce with each other. Banting is a high fat, moderate protein and low carbohydrate diet. There is definitely a link between fat-rich meals and severe pancreatitis in dogs, especially dogs prone to this horrific disease, so I would be very careful with this sort of diet with just any dog. The premium dog food companies have researched and spent millions in formulating a balanced diet for your pet. I always advise my clients to get the best food possible for their pets. Good food means a much healthier and happier pet! Dogs and cats are not like humans; they will be happy eating a balanced kibble diet forever. They don’t need the variety and eye-catching splendour that us humans thrive on. Not all premium pet foods are the same. Ask your vet to explain the difference in each. It usually revolves around the protein content and protein source of the food. The ‘better’ the protein is and the higher the content, the pricier the food gets. I am very happy with the quality of certain pet foods, so much so that I don’t mind my little toddler eating our cat food kibbles as a snack! He’s also partial to the dogs’ food, but the cat’s food is his favourite!

Managing your pet’s weight
If your pet is a healthy weight, you’ll want to keep him in this condition.

Continue to feed your pet the correct amount of food.
Keep snacks to a minimum – chew toys are great for dogs as they keep them busy with no added kilojoules!
Keep up with your exercise regime
Have regular weigh-ins at the vet to make sure your pet is maintaining his new, healthy weight.

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