Q. My pet is overweight, what should I look for in a food?
DANA KOCH, VMD, MLAS
A. There are many therapeutic food options available. These foods have been formulated to provide the proper nutrients with controlled calories or formulated to alter metabolism, so the pet will lose weight. Using over-the-counter wellness foods is not advised for weight loss. They have not been formulated for weight loss, so while calories can be restricted; nutrients will also be restricted, which could result in deficiencies in important nutrients, such as protein, minerals or vitamins.
There are many options for weight loss foods. There are restricted calories and fat foods; typically calories are replaced with fiber, water or air to give a feeling of fullness. The pet can eat the same amount, but receive fewer calories. There are weight loss foods that alter metabolism. High protein foods have been used successfully to alter metabolism to burn fat. Research has been completed using neutrogenomic technology to alter metabolism in dogs and cats.