Health and Nutrition

How Do I Help My Dog Lose Weight?

Much like their owners, more and more dogs worldwide are showing signs of obesity. Besides limiting their enjoyment of life as a dog, extra body weight can lead to to joint and heart problems, shorter lives, and sometimes behavioural issues.

The easiest way to tell whether or not your dog is obese is to examine his body. Try the following:

  • Have him stand up, then stand above him. Does his body slope inward at the waist?
  • Run your hands over his sides from front to back legs. Can you feel his ribs fairly easily?
  • Feel the base of his tail. Are the bones easily detectable?
  • Look at him from the side. Does his tummy slope upward as it gets closer to his tail?

If you answered no to any of the questions, your pup is probably overweight. If you answered “What waist/ribs/tail bones?” and “Upward? Really?,” your pup is probably obese.

The methods for treating obesity in dogs is fairly simple: eat less, exercise more.

Eat less

  • If your dog has a constant supply of food, remove it.
  • Buy a food scoop with measuring lines and portion his food based on the charts on your food labels.
  • Create a feeding schedule and stick to it. Whether you split the amount among two feedings or one larger meal, stay with the routine and he’ll adjust to it.

Be forewarned, though. Dogs are survival eaters and don’t react well when their food supply is threatened. She may suddenly, start raiding the trash or taking food off of the counter.

Exercise more

It won’t take any convincing to get your dog to exercise more, just get the leash and head out for a walk. Plan to spend an hour total every day walking. I realize that it’s hard these days to find the time. If you have kids, drag them away from the TV and go for a family walk after dinner. If you work out yourself, figure out a way to incorporate your dog into your routine. On the weekends, head to the park with a tennis ball or a Frisbee.

Think of it this way: Would you rather see your dog running, tongue out, tail wagging for 10 years, or that he lay around the house for five? How many people get to have a to-do list that includes “Play with Dog”?

The right diet and exercise can make your dog more social, more obedient, and more dedicated to you due to the extra time you spend together.

Wasn’t that the whole reason you decided to get a dog in the first place?

Russ Richer is a Dog Lover who has done extensive research to care for his own Dog.

Note: This section of the Canada’s Guide to Dogs website is intended as a source of information only. It is not intended as a substitute for professional care. Always consult with your Veterinarian about health related matters.

— is an Amazon Associate as well as a participant in various affiliate programs, as such fees are earned from qualifying purchases.