So your vet told you your dog needs to lose weight. No, you can’t take them to a weight watchers meeting, though we’re sure they’d be well received.
Who doesn’t want to see a puppy? Chubby adorableness aside, an overweight dog has health risks you need to address.
If you don’t get your dog back down to a normal weight, their quality of life will suffer. Doggy diabetes, cancer, and joint issues could all be on the horizon.
To keep that from happening you have to take some preventative measures. Here’s our guide to how to get a dog to lose weight.
One thing’s for sure, they’re not going to do it themselves!
Learn Their Condition
If it was your vet that told you your dog was overweight, they know what they’re talking about. For reference, ask them what your dog’s condition score is.
A condition score is like a BMI scale, but for dogs. The ideal dog weight? You should be able to feel Fido’s rib cage, but not see it.
Move With your Pup
Dogs don’t want to do anything without their owners. This includes exercise! One benefit of how to get a dog to lose weight is that you might lose weight too!
How? When you’re encouraging your puppy to exercise, you’re getting exercise yourself! Take your dog on an extra walk a day, go hiking, jogging, or play frisbee.
Anything that gets their heart rate up longer is doggy cardio – burn that fat!
Check your Dog Food Portions
Sometimes we get into the habit of scooping one amount and never change it. Your dog needs different amounts as they grow.
Puppies need to eat more than grown dogs since they’re still growing. If you’re feeding your adult dog the same amount you fed them as a puppy, look at the bag or this website.
The bag has amounts and portions based on the weight of your dog. If your dog is in the Lbs+ range, stick to that last number.
Or, try feeding them smaller amounts more often throughout the day. It’s the same idea as the diets that have you eat five meals a day to rev your metabolism.
Buy an Automatic Feeder
If you can’t be home during the day to feed them more or you sometimes forget and accidentally feed them twice, an automatic feeder can help.
These have timers built in and a dish that rotates with different portions of food. Some owners find their dogs are too smart and figure out how to move the feeder to get more food.
If that’s the case, try velcro-ing it closed or to the floor.
How to Get a Dog to Lose Weight: Be Consistent
Like human weight loss, even the best techniques for how to get a dog to lose weight won’t work overnight.
It takes your dog a while to lose what they put on. Don’t give up on their progress!
Even if you can’t see it or don’t have a pet scale, notice their actions. Are they moving more? That means their feeling better in their body.
It’s a good sign! For more about how to lose weight, dog or human, read here.