Diet plays a central role in your dog’s overall health and well-being, and it stands to reason that you want to provide your dog the best possible source of nutrition in the dog food you choose. But some nutrients, like L-Carnitine, may be unfamiliar or completely foreign. Learn more about this vitamin-like compound and how it can help your dog maintain a healthy weight.
Carnitine, or L-carnitine, is a vitamin-like compound made in the body from amino acids. It's found naturally only in animal-based protein sources. It has been used to help with fat metabolism in other species, and recent scientific studies show that it can help reduce weight in overweight dogs.
This water-soluble substance attaches to fatty acids, transporting them into cellular mitochondria, the part of the cell that converts fat into a usable form of energy. There, they are broken down through oxidation and converted to energy for all tissues, including the heart, liver, and skeletal muscles. Through this process, carnitine helps reduce the storage of body fat and the amount of fat in the bloodstream.
In a study conducted by The IAMS™ Company, overweight dogs were fed similar diets. One group was given a diet supplemented with L-carnitine while another group received a diet without supplemental L-carnitine.
After seven weeks, the group that received the diet without supplemental L-carnitine lost 1.8% body weight compared to 6.4% body weight loss from the group that was fed the L-carnitine supplemented diet. Likewise, body fat was reduced in each group by 2.4% and 4.6%, respectively.1 The study found that L-carnitine promotes loss of body weight and body fat in overweight dogs.
IAMS™ ProActive Health™ Adult Healthy Weight is formulated with L-carnitine that helps turn fat into energy, providing a path to help keep him fit for life.
1 Sunvold GD, Tetrick MA, Davenport GM, Bouchard GF. "Carnitine supplementation promotes weight loss and decreased adiposity in the canine." Proceedings of the XXIII World Small Animal Veterinary Association. p. 746. October, 1998.
Does your mature dog sniff at his bowl and walk away instead of digging in? You may think he’s just being picky, but it’s important to keep an eye on how much he’s eating — especially if he’s a senior. While age-related diminishment of the senses of smell and taste may account for some of his disinterest in food, appetite loss can also indicate a serious medical problem.
“It’s important to give your dog enough calories because weight loss can be debilitating to senior pets,” says Wendy Brooks, D.V.M., who warns that a loss in appetite should be mentioned to your vet. A good rule of thumb: If your pet hasn’t eaten in a day, make a visit to the vet. Here are six ways to entice your canine friend with a nourishing meal.
Many animals find canned food more palatable because they like the taste and texture, Brooks says. You can top their favorite dry food with room-temperature wet food.
Dogs like a warm or room-temperature (not hot or cold) meal. Avoid serving him day-old wet food from the refrigerator, and keep his food away from heat. Another reason he might not be eating: It's too hot outside.
Dogs prefer consistency when it comes to their food. Don't change every day, but try a new flavor, such as lamb or chicken, and see if he responds (it may trigger his sense of smell). To avoid an upset stomach, introduce a new food by mixing it with his old food in equal increments each day.
Common mature-dog health issues, such as arthritis or joint pain, can make it difficult for him to access his bowls. Keep food and water where he spends most of his time. Put a water bowl on all floors of the house, too.
Older pets are at a higher risk of dehydration. Provide a clean bowl with fresh water at all times. It will help prevent disease, such as a kidney condition, and aid in digestion.
Dogs are people pleasers. If you see him eating, give him a little verbal reward. He'll know it makes you happy and will repeat the behavior.