Dr. Gerna says,
I am sure the recent buzzword “Banting” is all too familiar to you. Personally, I find it irritating to invite friends around for a braai as they are all Banting about, ignoring my potato dauphinoise or delicious paptert. So Banting is a diet based purely on eating high fat, very low to no carb, but NOT high protein.
Can our pets join us?
Certainly they can survive on it ,but is it readily available?
There are no pet foods available that are neither no-carb, nor high enough in fat to meet the Banting nutrient profile. Also bear in mind that the high protein diets on the market do not qualify as Banting.
So it boils down to home cooking for your pet. This obviously carries the risk of imbalances and food safety issues, not to mention the time it takes.
The Banting diet advocates the use of animal fats which are made up mainly by saturated fats rich in omega 6 fatty acids. Omega 6 fatty acids have primarily inflammatory properties. We all know everything in life is about balance so to make this diet healthier and more sustainable it needs to be supplemented with increased quantities of omega 3 fatty acids which are anti-inflammatory. Important nutrients like fibre, vitamins, and antioxidants are mainly contained in carbohydrate ingredients like rice, corn and beet pulp, and these are easily forgotten and can become deficient when only focussing on saturated fats.
I have heard that people lose weight with Banting – what about my dog?
The basis of the Banting diet is that high fat nutrient profiles are believed to reduce appetite, but remember weight loss is still about a negative energy balance: more energy must be used than is taken in. This means that for this diet to work, the high fat meal portions must be smaller to achieve the same caloric intake. In my opinion, it would be very hard for owners not to overfeed as portion sizes are so small and dogs are rarely satisfied with such a small volume, despite its caloric content.
So what is the solution for my pet?
Come for a free weight assessment at Hoogland Dierekliniek, join the pet slimmer program and receive a FREE bag of food (diet formulated to change metabolism resulting in increased fat usage and decreased storage.)
Last but not the least. Have a good Easter. Remember chocolate is toxic to dogs so lock up those Lindt bunnies and let the dogs out!
Feeding Tips for Pets on Diet
If you’re changing your pet’s food to Hill’s Prescription Diet recommended for weight loss we recommend the following:
Introduce the new food gradually. Over a 7 day period, mix your pet’s previous food with increasing proportions of the new food, until only the new food is being fed. Any sudden or drastic change in food can result in refusal to eat and tummy upsets.
Ensure that you stick to the recommended daily allowance of food as directed by your vet. It helps to weigh and divide the daily allowance into several meals for the most efficient weight loss, at the beginning of the day, to avoid accidental overfeeding. Just a few extra kibbles can make a difference.
Avoid feeding table scraps - they are inappropriate for pets (most especially those on a weight loss program) because they are nutritionally unbalanced, have high salt and high fat levels and promote begging and fussy eating habits. Opt for healthy, low-calorie snacks if you would like to treat your pet to something extra.
If you have other pets that are not on the Slimmer Program it is best to feed them separately. Cats can be particularly difficult especially if they’re used to free feeding. Some great tricks have been submitted by previous slimmer participants to keep Slimmer’s away from the ‘normal’ food. One owner made an entrance in a cardboard box (which she then placed over the food) that only the thinner cat was able to fit through. Another suggestion is to place your other cat’s food up on a higher level that would take too much effort on the Slimmer’s part to get to.
Don’t leave any food lying around and watch out for sneaky tactics! A previous participant caught her dog stealing avocados straight off the tree. Another had to ‘child-proof’ her fridge and freezer when she discovered Australian Cattle dog had learnt how to open them to access unnecessary treats!
Snacks & Begging
Rewarding your pet
We all like to reward our pets, but all too often we think of food as the first option. There’s no reason why a pet on a weight loss program can’t receive rewards but why not try some alternatives to food that your pet is sure to appreciate just as much.
- A brush or massage: A relaxing way for you to bond with your pet that warms up muscles, releases tension and stimulates blood circulation.
- Fun, games or exercise: Play a game of fetch, or hide a toy in a sand pit and encourage some digging, take them out for a short walk, or buy a chew toy or puzzle toy.
The idea is to provide some mental and physical stimulation and pile on the praise, attention and cuddles. If you think about it they’re almost sure to love that more than the quick unhealthy titbit that hardly touches their mouth before being gulped down.
Exercise Tips for Dieting Pets
Exercise is a vital component of any weight loss program and the same applies to pets. Many of us believe that if we have sufficient garden space or a multiple pet household, that our animals will keep active on their own or entertain one another. Unfortunately this is not the case.
Your veterinary healthcare team may help set up exercise program for your pet, but there are some general points to remember about exercise.
- Ask your vet or an animal physiotherapist for advice. Getting an exercise program tailored for your pet’s individual needs is always best.
- Don’t do too much too quickly. Let your pet warm up gently and only increase exercise gradually as fitness improves.
- Make use of daily opportunities to give your pet exercise and stimulation. It can be as simple as encouraging your pet to go up and down the stairs with you or asking him to follow you around the garden when you are watering.
- Make sure it’s fun. Try exercising your pet with family members and other pets.
- If you’re unable to exercise your pet yourself, why not consider a dog walker.
- Change your mindset and use exercise and games to treat your pet.
- Here are some of our favorite exercise tips for dogs and cats.
Here are some of our favorite exercise tips for dogs and cats.