MMMM.... foooood. Your pup loooooves dinner time! Jumping up, circling around, tail wiggle-waggling, excited barks! Yaaaay!!! It’s dinner time! But wait, you have cut down their portions and calories and are serious about getting them to a healthier weight. They seem a little less excited as the days go on with the smaller portions, however, there are some low calorie healthy foods to add to their bowl to help with the process!
Leafy greens, like spinach, kale, and swiss chard, can add fibre volume that will help them feel fuller. Plus it is also packed with many essential vitamins, micronutrients and elements to help boost their health. All of these leafy greens have vitamins A, B,C and K.
Kale is one of the most nutrient dense foods available. Along with the vitamins, it is also a great source of magnesium and potassium. Magnesium is one of the top 5 most abundant minerals in mammal’s bodies. Among many functions, some of its most important roles are: for making proteins, contracting and relaxing muscle fibers, regulating the nervous system and creating energy from food! Potassium is essential for regulating fluid balance like blood pressure and water retention as well as in preventing bone disease and cardiovascular degeneration.
Spinach is also a great option as it is very high in antioxidants. Free radicals are by products in animals and humans metabolism. These cause ‘oxidative stress’ on cells, which damages them, leading to aging, as well as the progression of diseases such as cancer and diabetes. Antioxidants neutralize the ‘oxidation’ of cells and are nature’s ‘off switch’ to this process. This ultimately slows down aging and many disease processes.
Swiss chard is in a class on its own, as it not only has the ‘green leafy goods’ of listed above, the variety with brightly colored stems contain betalain pigments. These provide not only antioxidants but additional anti-inflammatory properties!
Another item to add to your pups bowl to help with weight management are liquids. A bit of warm water to dry food or wet food never hurts. It gives them extra moisture they may be missing from not drinking enough or through times of high temperature weather.
Another option is flavouring the water by diluting it with no sodium, bone broth. the bone broth will act as an additional palate stimulant that will engage their senses and make them look forward to their meal. The aroma and texture will offer both excitement of their sense of smell and taste. It also provides them with added hydration that can aid in curbing hunger, and tie them over until the next meal. Most bone broths also have additional minerals and vitamins that are beneficial to the overall health of your dog, not just their weight.
The one major benefit of all of these add-ons are they are super low in calories and can help you manage portion control while helping your dog through a weight management program!