How L-Carnitine Can Help Your Dog Lose Weight
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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.
What Is L-Carnitine?
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.
How Does L-Carnitine Work?
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.
Can L-Carnitine Help Reduce Weight in Overweight Dogs?
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.
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- adp_description_block497Nutrition for Large- and Giant-Breed Adult Dogs
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Healthy joints and proper weight are especially important for dogs that grow to be more than 50 pounds. But not all large- and giant-breed adult dogs have the same nutritional needs. Is your dog getting proper exercise? Is she about to have puppies? Special conditions can dramatically affect your dog’s nutritional demands. Giving her a food specially formulated for her large size, life stage and activity level is the easiest way to make sure she’s getting the nutrients she needs.
Choosing a Food for Overall Health
To address the special needs of your large- or giant-breed dog, look for these features:
- Less fat to help maintain an ideal body condition for less joint stress
- Vitamin-rich fish oils for healthy skin, shiny coat and overall health
- Essential vitamins and minerals to help support the immune system and help maintain good health
- High-quality animal-based protein sources to help maintain muscle tone
- A moderately fermentable fiber source, such as beet pulp, to maintain intestinal health, enhance your dog's ability to absorb nutrients, and reduce backyard cleanup
- A carbohydrate blend to help sustain energy by maintaining normal blood sugar levels
These components are key to good nutrition. Look for them in treats, wet dog food, or dry dog food, such as IAMS™ ProActive Health™ Adult Large Breed.
Maintaining Healthy Joints and Cartilage
Joint health is a big concern for owners of large- and giant-breed dogs. A large- or giant-breed formula that contains high-quality protein can help nourish healthy joints. Vitamins and minerals help promote the production of cartilage. Also, keeping your dog at a healthy weight will help minimize joint stress.
Guarding Against Weight Gain
Dogs with lower activity levels and dogs that have been neutered or spayed are all prone to weight gain. Controlling your dog’s weight is an important step toward protecting against the health effects of excess weight, such as diabetes or joint health problems. If you use a weight-management food, look for these characteristics:
- A reduced fat level that still offers essential nutrients for skin and coat health
- L-carnitine, a key nutrient that helps burn fat and maintain muscle mass during weight loss
- Special carbohydrate blends that help maintain energy while managing weight
- Vitamin-rich fish oils for overall health
Providing Nutrition During Pregnancy
Pregnant dogs have substantial nutrition requirements. Starting in the seventh week of her pregnancy, a mother dog will need to increase her energy intake up to 50% by the time she gives birth and increase it even more when she starts nursing her puppies. Because she may lose her appetite at times, it's important that she eats a nutrient-dense food. A complete, balanced puppy formula can give her the extra nutrients she needs. But avoid puppy food created for large and giant breeds; these formulas contain specially adjusted levels of energy and minerals that may not be sufficient for a pregnant or nursing dog.
Switching to a Mature Diet
Dogs who grow to be more than 50 pounds are considered mature or senior at age 5 or 6, which is earlier than small-breed dogs. So, it’s critical to make a proactive transition to a specially formulated mature diet, such as IAMS™ ProActive Health™ Mature Adult Large Breed, to help keep your dog healthy and active as she ages.
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