Is your dog overweight? A dog has a waist that should be visible. Their waist is just about where the front of the back legs hit the body, so follow that front leg line up to your dog's back. If you don't know where your dog's waist is (or should be), ask your Vet to show you the next time you go in. If there's no indentation at the waist, then your dog definitely has a weight problem. Being overweight affects your dog's life span, so it's important to keep an eye on their weight.
Your dog should be in good health with no special health problems to be put on this diet. If you have any questions about this, please contact your Vet.
I've used this diet many times over the years for our girls, and it has always worked for us! The green beans are fewer calories than the dog food, and your dog has the usual volume of food in his stomach.
You can substitute green beans for up to 1/2 of your dog's food on a daily basis. In other words, if your dog normally gets a cup of food in the morning and a cup of food in the evening, you can give them 1/2 cup of dog food and 1/2 cup of green beans for the morning feed and do the same thing in the evening. If your dog only has a slight weight problem, 3/4 cup of dog food and 1/4 cup of green beans for each feed should work. Use your judgment. If your dog isn't losing weight on 25% green beans, then you might want to increase the amount.
The diet will take a while to work. I have had one of our dogs lose 5 pounds right away and then lose the rest gradually, but most of the time it is a gradual weight loss. Green beans are good for your dog, so it isn't going to hurt them to be eating green beans for a while.
Using fresh green beans would be ideal, but it may not be practical. The next best kind is frozen green beans. I know Costco carries 5 pound bags of frozen green bags for around $2.50 each (August 1998). Nutritionally these are almost as good as fresh. Kelly, my husband, pops the green beans in the microwave just long enough to thaw them, and all three of our girls just love them! In fact, Sasha would eat them every single meal for the rest of her life if we'd let her!
The worst kind to use is canned green beans. If you're stuck and that's your only source, buy the canned green beans with no salt added. Be sure and give your dog(s) the liquid, too, because in canned goods the nutrition also goes into the liquid.
Other vegetables will work, too, but they will probably not be as economical to use as green beans are. Carrots are the best I can think of. Peas and corn are way too high in sugar. Corn doesn't even digest in a dog's digestive system.
Watch your dog's weight and keep him or her as healthy as they can be!
For calorie and nutritional information on other vegetables, please see "Nutritional Information On Vegetables".