What’s for desert?

Obesity in dogs is a serious medical problem. The dog’s health is most certainly at risk. Being overweight puts stress on their heart, lungs, liver, kidneys, and joints. Fat dogs have an increased risk of developing respiratory disease, diabetes, arthritis and cardiovascular disease, just to name a few. The simple fact is that dogs become obese because they take in more calories than they use. Owners tend to overfeed their dogs. Dogs are scavengers by nature and many will eat until there is no more, if given the chance.

Food Intake

Food intake is the key. Reduce or eliminate table scraps and treats. Consult your veterinarian before beginning the weight reduction program. Your veterinarian can design a weight loss program for your dog and help identify specific problems and suggest alternatives along the way. There are several low-calorie pet food products on the market. Low-Calorie dog food is typically lower in fat and higher in fiber. This allows you to continue to serve a nice-sized portion while reducing the number of calories the pet actually receives. Your vet may want the dog weighed periodically to track progress.

Many dogs love fruit and vegetables. Adding low-calorie vegetables to their food adds bulk without a lot of calories and the dog will feel more satisfied. Find treats that are lower in calories. Dogs generally don’t care about the size of the treat as much as the number of individual treats they receive. A low calorie cereal can be given one at a time as a treat and most dogs will be very happy with it.


Dogs can exercise on a treadmill when weather is too bad for a walk.

Increase the amount of exercise the dog receives. This can simply mean walking the dog more or playing catch more often. As your dog loses weight it will sleep less and want to play more.