12 Tips for Managing your Dog's Weight and Preventing Obesity

By Judith Aleguen | Updated on Jan 20, 2023

12 Tips for Managing your Dog's Weight and Preventing Obesity

It goes without saying that as a responsible pet owner, you want the very best for your pet. However cute a chubby and fluffy dog looks, many dog owners fail to recognize that obesity is a growing cause for alarm and much more have difficulty keeping their canine companion's weight under control. You don't have to worry because this article has compiled 15 strategies for keeping your dog at a healthy weight and warding off obesity. Let's start!

Always measure your dog's food.

If you want to keep your dog at a healthy weight and avoid obesity, measuring and recording their food consumption is perhaps one of the first and easiest things to do. Ensure that you feed your dog the right amount of food based on age, weight, and activity level.

You can do this by simply using a measuring cup to determine the proper amount of dog food to feed. A food scale is another viable option if you don't have a measuring cup handy. Measuring their food will not only allow you to keep track of your dog's weight but also ensure that they are receiving the proper amount of food at all times.

To keep track of how much dog food your pet consumes daily, you can use a food calendar or a smartphone app. With this information, you can spot trends and make appropriate changes whenever necessary. This will also help you spot any changes in their eating habits so that you can prevent any other issues in the long run.

Make sure to feed your dog a high-quality diet.

It is essential to provide your dog with a high-quality diet so that it'll get all the nutrients it needs to stay healthy. The diet should be a good mix of protein, like lean meats and fish, and carbs, fats, and fibers. If your dog is already heavier than average, consider a low-calorie diet so that it can shed pounds safely and sustainably. But remember that even if it is a low-calorie diet, ensure it still contains all the necessary nutrients.

When buying food from the store, look for dog food that is made with whole organic ingredients and doesn't have any fillers or artificial preservatives that could potentially harm your fur babies. When cooking at home, check what human food is acceptable for dogs and which ones to avoid.

Do not give your dog table scraps.

Feeding your dog with human food, especially table scraps, is a big no. These foods are often high in fat, sugar, and salt, making them unhealthy for dogs to eat. They may also contribute to weight gain and serious health problems if consumed in large quantities. To treat your dogs, give them healthy foods, like apple or carrot slices or bite-sized pieces of boiled chicken or lean beef.

Give your dog enough and regular exercise.

It's crucial to your dog's health and weight management that you provide them with regular exercise. As an added bonus, exercise also aids in weight loss and improves your dog's general health and well-being. Exercise is also a good bonding moment between you and your canine friend.

Remember that dogs of various sizes, ages, and breeds have different exercise requirements. If you are not sure about this, it is better to consult your vet. Maintaining a daily exercise routine of at least 30 minutes and moderate intensity is recommended for moderately active dogs. An hour of exercise is necessary for working dogs that are very active.

Exercising your dog can come in many ways, such as strolling, jogging, playing fetch, training, and swimming. Whether your dog is overweight or not, it is wise to always begin slowly and gradually increase its intensity and duration over time. Remember to talk to your vet about a safe and effective exercise routine for your dog if they have any preexisting conditions, like hip dysplasia or arthritis.

Avoid leaving food out all the time for your dog to graze on.

Leaving your dog's food out for him to graze on all the time is a surefire road to making him overweight since they will surely overeat if food is at any moment. Instead, you should train your dog to follow a regular feeding schedule that works for both of you.

They must be fed at regular intervals, and the leftovers must be removed immediately, so your dog will know when mealtime is and isn't. Dogs that are overweight or obese may benefit from eating several smaller meals throughout the day rather than two or three large ones.

Limit the treats.

Although treats are a fantastic tool for rewarding and training your dog, it's easy to go overboard. Your dog may have a more challenging time losing weight if you give them treats on a regular basis. To keep your dog healthy, pick snacks that are minimal calories but satisfy him.

Gradually reduce food intake when your dog shows signs of obesity.

If your dog is overweight, one of the first steps veterinarians often suggest to help them lose weight healthily and permanently is to reduce the amount of food you give them daily. It must be gradual because rapid weight loss may harm your dogs by causing them to lose muscles instead of fats, and it can also cause them to become malnourished if you suddenly alter their diet.

Talk to your vet about creating a weight-loss strategy and determining how much food your dog needs. Keep in mind that reducing food intake is only effective if accompanied by other changes in behavior, such as increasing physical activity.

Talk to your vet about creating an effective weight-loss strategy.

To keep your dog at a healthy weight and avoid obesity, it's essential that you discuss your pet's weight with your veterinarian. Your dog's ideal weight will vary depending on its size, breed, and age, but your vet can help you figure it out.

No one better to asses your dog's general health and determine whether or not weight gain is caused by any underlying medical conditions or not than your vet. Talk to your vet about creating a weight-loss strategy and deciding how much food your dog needs. They can also help you create a safe and effective weight loss plan for your dog once a healthy weight has been established.

Keep in mind that reducing food intake is only effective if accompanied by other changes in behavior, such as increasing physical activity.

Give your dog interactive feeders and puzzle toys to increase mental stimulation.

A crucial part of managing your dog's weight and avoiding obesity is providing it with mental stimulation through interactive feeders and puzzle toys. These puzzle toys can take many forms and shapes, such as those that require the dog to find hidden prizes, pair up objects, or solve a puzzle in exchange for treats.

In addition, this interactive feeder or puzzle toy can keep your dog from becoming bored while eating, reducing the likelihood of consuming excessive amounts of food. Not to mention that it will also improve the dog's mealtime by making it more challenging and enjoyable.

Monitor your dog's weight regularly.

Keep an eye on your dog's weight by keeping a record of their weight at regular intervals. This will allow you to not only monitor their progress but also to make any necessary changes to your dog's diet or exercise routine as soon as early signs of obesity are visible. Also, it helps you monitor their weight loss progress and ensure they lose weight at a safe and steady rate and not abruptly.

As you keep an eye on your dog's weight over time, remember that your dog's weight can shift for several reasons, including the weather, your dog's hormones, breed, muscle mass, body composition, and even stress.

Make sure that your dog's weight gain is not from a severe medical condition.

Before anything else, if your dog has a medical condition that makes weight loss challenging, you and your vet will need to devise a strategy to treat both the medical condition and the dog's excess weight. Some diseases and conditions, like hypothyroidism, diabetes, and Cushing's disease, make it hard for dogs to shed pounds.

Your vet could diagnose and treat these conditions if symptoms were caught early on.

It's possible that your vet will suggest a special diet for your dog or alter the type and quantity of food they are eating, reduce or increase the level of exercise, and nutritional supplements, depending on your dog's condition.

Remember that weight loss in dogs with medical conditions may be more gradual than in others, so persistence and understanding are key.

Be consistent with your dog's diet and exercise routine.

Maintaining a healthy weight for your dog over time requires a consistent feeding and exercise schedule. Consistency means making a regular feeding schedule, providing appropriately sized meals, encouraging regular physical activity, and adhering to it. Having a dog is a huge commitment that requires you to be on guard all the time.

In conclusion, the road to weight management and the avoidance of canine obesity takes patience, effort, and consistency on your part. In order to keep your dog at a healthy weight, it's essential to feed it a diet consisting of low-calorie snacks, give it only the amount it needs, and never feed it table scraps. Keep your dog on a consistent food and exercise schedule, and don't forget to check in with your vet to ensure your chosen plan is safe and effective. Your dog's life expectancy can be significantly increased if you take steps. A healthy dog is a happy dog, and a happy dog is a healthy dog!