Canine Weight Loss Strategies for the Obese Dog

An obese dog is prone to several health conditions and vets highly recommend weight loss to prevent complications and to make sure the dog lives longer. Weight loss may be done through dieting and exercise.

Diet for Weight Loss

A dog needs a certain amount of food to maintain his weight. If you want your dog to lose weight, he needs to burn more calories than he eats. By doing this, the dog will start burning from his fats deposits.

The amount of food needed for a dog depends on the breed, energy level, sex and the age of the dog.

It is important to consult your vet. When establishing your dog’s diet, keep in mind the essential nutrients that your dog needs.

Essential Nutrients for Dogs

Regardless of the number of calories prescribed for weight loss, a dog’s diet needs to incorporate some essential nutrients. Here are some tips to keep in mind:

  • Dogs need a diet that is rich in proteins; meat and fish are great protein sources. Protein should constitute at least 20% of your dog’s diet.
  • Fiber helps promote easy digestion.
  • Fats are also important, and these may be found in fish oils or commercial kibble food.
  • Reduce the intake of carbs and sugars, as these may promote weight gain.
  • You can choose diet prescription food or the light versions of dog food.
  • Commercial dry food may not be recommended in weight loss, as it contains sugars and flour.
  • Home made diet may be recommended at least till the dog loses some weight.

Wet food is recommended in a weight loss program; it has a high water content, which will fill your dog’s stomach, so he won’t feel hungry. Your dog will eat the same amounts of food but it will have fewer calories.

No Free Feeding

Free feeding is not recommended for obese dogs. You should control how much your pet eats. An adult dog should be fed once per day.

Avoid giving your dog too many treats. Treats may be fattening; instead, offer a warm patting or encouraging words.

Regular Exercise

Exercise promotes weight loss. Exercising can burn fat deposits, provided your dog has and elevated heart rate throughout the workout. The heart rate can be elevated with intensive exercise such as running, swimming or jumping.

Choose an activity that your dog likes. In order to lose weight, your dog needs to do intensive workout for 40 to 60 minutes per day. This time may vary according to your dog’s size and age.

You can initiate a few games during the day in addition to your dog’s regular workout sessions.

Combining exercise with diet will ensure that your dog loses weight.


Dogs that are on a diet may receive supplements to promote the weight loss and to ensure that he gets all the essential minerals and vitamins.

Don’t apply drastic weight loss programs that promise quick results; these may be harmful for your dog’s health. The weight loss should be gradual and the results will be visible in time.