Help an obese dog lose weight? Here’s how

22 Mar, 2021

Help an obese dog lose weight? Here’s how

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As dog owners we all love our dogs, sometimes a little too much with treats and snacks between meals. It is also easy for dogs to put on weight as they get older. Sometimes we see obese dogs around us simply because they have an ailment that prevents them from regular exercise. They may be arthritic or have some other condition.

There are ways you might be able to help your dog lose weight, whatever the reason for their size. Always check with your vet before starting any new pet regime, but do read on for some top tips.

Effective Tips That Will Help Your Obese Dog Lose Weight

obese dogs
Sometimes an obese dog will have limited mobility

Dog owners, undoubtedly, love their dogs and want to provide the best care for them. However, not many dog owners are educated enough on what their dog’s ideal weight should be. This unfortunately causes many dogs to become obese. Obesity can inflict several health problems on your dog.

Obesity shortens life in dogs

A recent study has revealed that overweight dogs, especially Labrador Retrievers, live on average two years shorter than those within a healthy weight range. 

It can also result in joint and back problems and inflammation inside the body, resulting in other diseases. Obesity may put your dog at risk of tracheal collapse, decreased respiratory function, and heart issues. This is why you should know the healthiest weight range for your dog and stay on top of any changes. Here are effective tips that will help your obese dog lose weight. 

Caloric Intake

When it comes to weight loss for dogs, just like humans, there are two factors to consider: food and exercise. According to the Association for Pet Obesity Prevention’s founder, a dog’s diet is responsible for 60 to 70% of its weight-loss. Humans tend to overestimate the amount of food their dogs may need since they can’t sense their hunger cues.

This is why you may need to count your obese dogs daily caloric intake.

Managing food intake for an obese dog

Following the nutritional guide on food packaging only is not a good idea since the amount of food that your dog really needs is determined by a variety of factors. The dog’s breed, activity level, size, age, and if they’re neutered or spayed, are just a few things that would influence the amount of food that it needs.

When determining a suitable intake, consider the body and muscle condition scores, medical conditions, and lifestyle. You will be able to find a lot of helpful information online regarding how you can estimate your dog’s feeding guidelines. Above you need to manage food intake for your dog, whether healthy or obese. It is a major element of ensuring good care for your dog.

obese dogs
Golden retrievers can easily put on weight

Breaking-Up Meals

An integrative veterinarian explains that breaking up your dog’s meals can help it burn calories. If you have an overweight golden retriever, you can divide the daily amount of food that it consumes into three to six portions. This is because the body requires energy to digest food, so breaking down the food into several small meals can help burn calories.

This will also help regulate your obese dog’s insulin levels, curb its appetite to an extent, and keep it full throughout the day. As soon as the dog’s metabolism starts improving, the weight will come off more easily. 

Food Quality

Calorie counting is not the only important aspect to keep in mind, the quality of the food itself is also key. This is especially important if you have an obese dog. If you want your dog to lose weight, you should feed it fewer carbs, and more fresh and whole foods. Make sure to look at the food labels as many processed dog foods are filled with up to 60%- and even more carbohydrates.

To ensure that your obese dog is following a healthy diet, feeding it proteins and fresh food that provide fibre and moisture will keep it satiated. Bioavailable food and food that is dense in nutrition will enhance your dog’s health and decrease their total food intake. 

Factor in the Treats

Don’t forget that dog treats need to be controlled and reduced for obese your dog to lose weight. You shouldn’t take the dog treats completely out of your dog’s diet. They keep your dog excited, keep a positive reinforcement and rewards system in place, and are great training aids. However, you should still closely monitor the number of treats that your dog is getting throughout the day. 

obese dog
Obese dogs may feel uncomfortable physically for all kinds of reasons but they can’t tell you – you have to help them

Make sure that the treats don’t make up more than 10% of your dog’s daily caloric intake. If you feed your dog an overall healthy diet but give it a lot of treats, this can be the reason behind your dog’s heaviness. 


For an obese dog exercise is an important weight loss and health maintenance component especially. If your dog is obese, you might want to start by taking it on walks. Walks will keep your dog active and mentally stimulated.

The dog’s breed and its general health are what determine how much time it needs to walk. Though, the minimum physical activity that your dog should be doing is for 20 minutes twice a day; some dogs may need more. You can also ask your vet about other types of exercise that are suitable for your dog. 

A final note on helping an obese dog lose weight

Monitoring your dog’s diet and encouraging it to exercise is quite important, especially if your dog is overweight. Obesity can be harmful to your dog. Not only will it make it harder for it to move, but it can also put it at risk of disease. This is why you should always make sure that your dog is within a healthy weight range and keep track of any changes.

Further reading about dogs and dog care

At we always try to share useful and informative blogs and practical advice with our members. Read on to find some helpful articles with useful tips for dog owners and dog sitters about dogsitting.

Top dogsitting tips for beginners

Dog sitters tips – Dog’s body language and how to read it

What is a dog sit?

What is a live in dogsitter

The Affordable Alternative to Dog Kennels

What is House Sitting?

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