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Does Your Dog Need to Go on the Green Bean Diet?

If you have a fat dog, you have two choices about how to “Go Green.”  

Peel off those greenbacks and give them to your vet when your dog develops health issues, or feed your dog green beans. What, you say?

The Association for Pet Obesity Prevention estimates that 55.6% of US dogs are overweight or obese. That’s 43 million fat dogs.

“Roll over, Spot” takes on a whole new meaning when Spot rolls and rolls and never stops since he’s so fat his arms and legs can’t stop him.

Next time you go to the dog park, check out how many overweight dogs do you see. Every dog that doesn’t have a waist—or indentation—between her waist and hips, is overweight.

There are reasons/excuses abound why our pets are obese. As we get fatter, so do our pets. We work harder and longer, no time for walks. Yadda, yadda, yadda.

The real reason is: We feed them too much. They eat their food. We give them treats. Then they eat our scraps.

So, they get fat, and we end up shelling out hard earned cash after they develop health issues like diabetes, cardiovascular disease, joint issues, and others.

My advice for owners of overweight dogs: go green with the Green Bean Diet.

It’s easy, inexpensive, and it works. Green beans add fiber and to dogs’ diets and make them feel full without having the extra calories. Here’s what you need to know:

1.) Buy frozen green beans. Avoid canned green beans with salt since they’re loaded with sodium. Get French cut or regular cut, not whole green beans—they’re easier to measure and no cutting.

2.) Halve the regular amount of dog food that you feed your dog. Substitute green beans for the other half.

For example, when my Bichon Frise, Scout, got a little tubby from all my counter-top droppings, he got ¼ cup of dry dog food and ¼ of green beans twice a day, once in the morning and once in the evening.

But will dogs actually eat green beans? Most do. If not, try baby carrots, but they’re pricier. Some pet owners start with less than half green beans to get them used to the change, but all the dogs I’ve known have liked them at first gobble.

Who knows, the Green Bean Diet as a canine health kick? We sure could use one.

Jennifer Quasha is a writer and most recently the co-author of "Chicken Soup for the Soul: My Dog's Life: 101 Stories about the Ages and Stages of our Canine Companions" and "Chicken Soup of the Soul: My Cat's Life: 101 Stories about the Ages and Stages of our Feline Family Members." Check out her website at www.jenniferquasha.com.