Dog Weight Loss Tips

Many dogs in America are overweight and need a dog weight loss program to get back on track. Rub your hand down your dog's side. If you can't easily feel his ribs, he's overweight. Consult your veterinarian before beginning a new weight loss program to make sure it's appropriate.


Many dogs don't receive enough exercise, which will vary based on your dog's age and breed. Working dogs need a significant amount of mental and physical exercise, even when they are older than larger or toy breeds. For example, you can't expect a border collie to get enough exercise on a 30-minute daily walk.

Build up aerobic exercise by jogging, biking or playing games such as fetch with your dog. Slowly integrate this new exercise plan because your dog is out of shape and needs to build up to a new activity level.

Provide your dog with interactive games while you are gone, such as hiding his food throughout the house or yard so he has to search for it. You can also stuff it in a marrow bone or toy that spits it out as he pushes it with his nose. Don't just put his food down in a bowl. Make him work for it.


If your dog is overweight, you should cut back their food intake by 20 to 40 percent. Don't free feed. Monitor how much your dog eats each day. Pick it up if it is uneaten after 15 minutes unless otherwise instructed by a veterinarian.

Look at feeding senior foods that have fewer calories or weight loss foods. However, be aware that cutting back on your dog's foods means cutting back on his nutrients. You may consider supplementing with a pet vitamin to ensure your pet is still getting the nutrients he needs.

You can also replace a portion of your dog's foods with healthy vegetables such as green beans or broccoli. Just remember to grind them in the blender or food processor. Since dogs don't chew their food thoroughly, they often don't get nutrients from whole vegetables.


Treats and table scraps are one of the biggest diet busters, especially when there are several people in the household who may give treats without knowing that someone else just did as well. Replace treats with low calorie treats and cut treats smaller. Your dog doesn't need an entire milk bone each time.

Cut out table scraps completely, but reward your dog with healthy snacks such as:


  • green beans
  • carrots
  • banana
  • diet wet food baked into healthy treats

On days when your dog receives excess treats, cut back his meal a little more.

Substitute treats with a game. Get your dog excited about toys and reward him with interaction rather than treats. Buy new toys occasionally. Dogs get as excited about new toys as children do.

Finally, make sure everyone in the family is on the same page. The best way for a diet to fail is one family member feeling sorry for the dog when no one is around. Explain to your family that this will help your dog live a healthier, longer life, and get everyone involved in the weight loss plan.