Health and Nutrition

Putting your Pet on a Diet

– Reprinted with permission from

If you are thinking of putting your pet on a diet, you must consider the pet’s overall lifestyle. The two most important factors that will require change are food and exercise or input and output. Most pets are overweight because there is more input than output.

The commitment for your pet to lose weight must come from you. You are the one who can control your pet’s eating habits and exercise regime.

Here are the necessary steps to follow when putting your pet on a proper diet.

Step 1

Review the pet’s current lifestyle, eating habits and exercise routine.

Step 2

Take your pet to a veterinarian for a physical examination. Sometimes the obesity can cause physical problems or sickness. As well, if you are planning to increase your pet’s exercise regime, it is important to ensure he or she will be able to endure the demands. You and your veterinarian can discuss your pet’s nutritional requirements according to his/her level of activity.

Step 3

Stop any snacks or treats. This is the number one cause of obesity in pets. A complete and balanced pet food will provide your pet with adequate nutrition and eating enjoyment. All of those little bite-size treats of table scraps add up in calories! If treats are used for training purposes or rewards, the amount of energy included in those treats should be subtracted from the total daily intake.

Step 4

Take you pet for lots of nice long walks. Exercise is very important provided the pet is physically able.

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.

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