Help! My dog is overweight » Natural Healthy Dog Food, Holistic for All Life Stages: FarmFood

Help, my Dog... overweight!

The scientific name for overweight is obesitas and the description of obesitas is: an accumulation of excess fat in the body, as a result of the assimilation of more energy (calories) that are consumed.

Just as in people, excess weight in dogs is occurring more and more often. Various research indicates that 30-40% of all dogs in the Western world are too fat.

Excess weight often leads to all kinds of health problems. Many dogs with excess weight will suffer from heart, liver or kidney problems, suffer from the heat quicker, move less and become old more rapidly. Dogs with excess weight are more likely to suffer from joint problems.

What causes excess weight (obesitas)?

Help My DogOne of the most important causes is that the metabolism of our dogs, whether large or small, is still the same as that of their ancestors, the wolves. In my opinion, the core of the problem lies in the “out-of-date body” which still thinks and behaves as in prehistoric times and stores fat far too efficiently (reserves). The “out-of-date body” knows that it is no longer necessary to store reserves for times of scarcity. Therefore, when the dog is offered too much food or a treat, the “out-of-date body” will not refuse it. After all it does not know that there will be enough food again tomorrow. Moreover the “out-of-date body” no longer needs to work for a living. Moving has become dependent on the mobility of the owner.

Another cause lies in the difference between physical and mental hunger. Physical hunger can then be subdivided into “energy” hunger and “technical” hunger. With “energy” hunger the body has too little immediately available energy (blood sugar) and the energy must be provided by means of food or by burning body fat, whereas with “technical” hunger the stomach is simply empty and, although there is no lack in immediately available energy, it demands to be filled.

The latter is also one of the reasons why diet foods that are high in fibre do not work in the long term. Because of the voluminous stomach filling the dog becomes increasingly bigger and because of that it develops more and more “technical” hunger.

Mental hunger occurs when the dog cannot satisfy its natural “after-dinner” need. Not only is the metabolism of our dogs still the same as that of the wolf, but also the basic behaviour, whether large or small, is still exactly the same. Wolves will always chew on something immediately after a meal or some time afterwards. Depending on what’s available they chew on sticks, bones or pieces of skin. In contrast to former days we now know that this is not to produce saliva or to consciously clean their teeth, but that endorphins are created in the body because of the chewing. Besides a sense of relaxation these endorphins also reduce fear and aggression. By satisfying their need to chew they also satisfy their mental hunger!

From the above it will be clear to you how important it is for a dog to chew on something. If a dog does not satisfy its natural need to chew, it will compensate for this by going in search for something nice. Often this will result in getting a treat.

Yet another often occurring cause of obesitas is that, through modern dog food production technology, the so-called extrusion / expansion and cooking, the ingredients are overheated to such an extent that undesirable changes occur in the nature of some ingredients.

The fats in particular are damaged (transformed) by overheating. As a result of this overheating, substances are created that are a burden on the metabolism on the one hand, and these result in deficiencies, because certain essential nutrients have become (entirely or partially) lost through overheating, on the other. Because the body strives for a balance the dog will eat more to try to fill these deficiencies and to eliminate them.

What to do when the dog is carrying excess weight?

  • Get the dog to exercise more. Do build this up slowly; do not ‘demand’ too much.
  • Absolutely do not give a “treat”, but when the dog begs, give it something natural to chew on that has little or no energy (for example Farm Food Rawhide). As a reward you say something friendly to the dog and stroke it. You could give it a piece of Farm Food HE.
  • Do not give any food before taking the dog for a walk or before playtime. Realise that the wolf did not get a meal until after the hunt either.
  • Divide the daily quantity over at least 3 meals in order to create as stable as possible a blood sugar level. This way you can somewhat “program the out-of-date body” into believing that there is no shortage and it is therefore not necessary to use the energy sparingly. Moreover, because of the smaller quantity per feeding, the stomach will be reduced in a natural way (this can take some months).
  • Absolutely do not give your dog diet or light food. These foods usually contain a lot of fibre and little energy. Because of this you increase the “technical hunger” and you increase the stomach size.
  • If you are currently feeding your dog extruded/expanded or cooked food (both types can be recognised by the fact that they float on water) then it is recommended to switch over to Farm Food HE. Because Farm Food HE is a pressed food, you can be sure that your dog can use everything that is in there and will receive everything it needs and can also fill up the deficiencies that have occurred.
  • Do not give more than 60 -75% of the recommended quantity per day and complete this with approximately 10-15% uncleaned tripe to improve the intestinal flora. When the dog looses weight it will need this improved intestinal flora.
  • Make sure that your dog can satisfy its natural “after-dinner” need to chew which will satisfy its mental hunger. The best way to do this is give the dog a Farm Food Rawhide bone. Always leave some bones lying around. When your dog begs, take the bone from his dog basket and give this to him. Farm Food Rawhide bones contain hardly any fat and the protein is pure collagen protein that is taken into the bloodstream, as a result of this the nutritional value of Farm Food Rawhide is nil and, because collagen protein are not taken into the bloodstream, they can also be given to dogs with a food allergy.


When loosing weight the body fat is broken down and converted into energy. In most cases, non degradable, foreign substances have been collected in this body fat. The amounts and the type of substances strongly depend on what you usually feed (and treat) your dog with. As soon as your dog is loosing weight these substances will be released and it is possible that detoxification symptoms appear. Symptoms in the form of strong moult, thin faeces, licking the legs, pimples in the groin etc. This detoxification process is a natural reaction of the body and cannot be stopped when it occurs. Because Farm Food HE does not contain chemical substances (such as antioxidants, preservatives, colouring agents, artificial aromas and flavouring) and moreover no waste products have been formed through overheating, the supply of these harmful substances stops. This gives the body (liver) extra help to “clear the rubbish”. The improvement of the intestinal flora through adding some uncleaned tripe then contributes to getting your dog healthy and active again.

© Farm Food Dog Food, Gerrit de Weerd. - FARM FOOD HE, The natural alternative.
Leaflet from the series “Help my Dog”: the holistic approach to fighting health problems in dogs.
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