I have a 10-year-old Labrador who is still just as greedy as he was when he was a puppy and is now overweight. Is there anything I can do to stop him from being so hungry all the time?

Paul Manktelow advises…

Labradors are one of the most common breeds seen attending pet obesity clinics and reducing their weight can be challenging. Recently, scientists discovered that there is a gene related to food-motivated behaviour that works differently in Labradors and actually increases their desire for food in relation to other breeds. This does pose challenges for maintaining Labradors at a healthy weight, but by knowing that there is a definite link, we can start to make changes to our feeding guidelines to aim to be more specific for Labradors. This can be done by feeding specifically for their weight with good-quality food that is designed for larger breeds. These foods often contain larger biscuits, which help dogs to feel fuller for longer. A similar method can be used to reduce the weight of older, hungry Labradors. One of the most effective practices already in place is the use of specific weight-loss diets. These are designed with larger biscuits containing increased amounts of protein, which also helps to reduce the dog’s appetite. Treats should be completely avoided while on a diet, however; if they are given, you should take a similar-sized portion out from the meal ration. This will ensure that the dog is still receiving the same number of calories each day

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