How to Deal with an Obese Dog
Yes, dogs can get fat, and unlike human beings it is not something they have all that much control over. If you
feed your dog a lot and let them lay around the house, they'll get fat.
As they get older, this can become even more pronounced as your dog loses energy and seeks food more often.
However, if you want your dog to live a long, healthy life, that weight needs to go. The risk of cancer,
diabetes, or organ failure goes up dramatically when a dog becomes obese in their old age.
Take care of it early, and you can reduce disease chances many times over.
The First Step
The very first thing you should do for your dog is to get their diet under control.
An overweight dog is often fed too much each day. The actual amount your dog is fed will vary from day to day,
but in general, the following recommendations are offered by Veterinarians:
* Less than 10 Pounds - 1/3 - 1 cup a day
* 10-25 Pounds - 1-2 1/4 cups a day
* 25-50 Pounds - 2 Cups to 3 Cups a day
* 50-75 Pounds - 3 Cups to 5 Cups a day
* Over 75 Pounds - 5-8 Cups a Day
That is for dry food and the weights listed are for healthy dogs. So, if your dog is already obese, consider
what a healthy dog for their breed would weigh. For example, a Labrador Retriever that weighs 100 pounds is
likely over weight as the average size is around 60 pounds.
To cut out all that extra food, you'll want to start feeding your dog only twice a day. Split the food in half
and feed the dog in two sittings. Many people will just put food down and keep the bowl filled throughout the
day. This is the easiest way to make a dog obese.
Additionally, cut out any excess treats and all table scraps. Treats are a good training tool, but should not
be given out constantly (Check out some of the best dog treats for
). One or two treats a day will not cause a problem, but treats throughout the day for no particular
reason can be dangerous. Table scraps are almost always bad as well.
Adding in Some Exercise
Much like humans, dogs cannot lose weight if they just change their diet. Every good weight loss routine is a
combination of diet and exercise. The best part is that most dogs are perfectly happy to exercise.
Unless your dog is old and has lost its energy, it should be eager to get out and go for a walk or run. The key
here is to give them the opportunity. Don't just assume, because your dog sits around all day, that it does not
want to go outside.
If you don't have the opportunity to go outside, play games inside. Play fetch with your dog
, wrestle with your dog, and
teach them to chase down toys throughout the house. You don't even have to get up to play fetch with a small
dog in the house.
And, even with lethargic dogs, many times the shift in diet will have an immediate impact on their energy
levels. By taking them outside in conjunction with shifting their diet, you'll see them start to have a greater
desire to become physically engaged.
One thing to remember is that if your dog is extremely obese or unhealthy, you should always see a vet before
changing their lifestyle dramatically by including dog exercising
. You'll of course want to make changes, but you will not want to put undue stress on their bodies
BTW, did you know that the reason for your dog being overweight may have something to do with
commercial dog food? If you haven't seen this video already, make sure that you watch it now, it highlights some
grave concerns about some commercial dog food and what to do about it: