If your dog needs to lose weight, or you just want to maintain his healthy weight, you may want to work with your vet to develop a weight management program. Your program will consist mainly of a structured diet and an exercise plan. When I was working with my dog, Sadie, to lose weight, I would stop by the vet’s office and use their scale to weigh her every week. Many veterinarians have a scale in the lobby, so you can just run in and check the weight, free of charge.
The first thing you’ll want to do is find a high quality weight management food for your dog. This type of food has fewer calories and will help your dog to lose or at the very least stop your pooch from gaining more weight. While on the subject of feeding your dog, make sure you are drop-feeding your pet. Your dog should not have access to food 24/7. Feed your dog 2-3 times a day. This will help jump start your dog’s metabolism. I feed my dogs twice a day, once in the morning and again in the evening. I use a measuring cup in order to make sure I am feeding the recommended amount and no more. With Sadie, I found she does best when I feed a little less than what the manufacturer recommends.
You’ll also have to cut back or stop giving your dog treats, until you have your dog’s weight at a healthy level. If you are the type of person who cannot stop giving your dog treats you may want to cut back on how much food you give at meal time and instead offer it to your dog as a treat throughout the day. When I give treats to my dogs I break the treat into several small pieces. Once I have it broken into small pieces I only offer one piece at a time.
You will need to start an exercise program for your dog. While exercise is vital to helping your dog lose weight you may have to start out slowly. Remember your dog can overheat easily especially in hot weather. Fat dogs often have trouble breathing and their heart may be working extra hard. Start your exercise program slowly and increase frequency and intensity with care. Short sessions of low or moderate exercise such as a walk around the block or a daily obedience routine are a good way to start. Some dog owners find that physical therapy with a canine rehabilitation practitioner helps.
Best treatment for an obese dog? Exercise, exercise, exercise.
Reasonable portions of quality food also help, but nothing can replace good exercise schedule.
Jana, I agree with you completely. Although if your dog is extremely overweight you’re going to want to start slow and build momentum.
I agree with Jana. Get that dog outside and run around… A LOT. It will benefit both you and the dog. Thanks for the article.
I agree with you Kelley that an obese dog really needs a structured diet and an exercise plan. Like humans, they also need this scheme to reduce weight. Thanks.