Is Your Dog Fat? How to Get Your Dog to Lose Weight by Jenn Fadal

June 2, 2013 | By More



If you have been following my blog, you know that I have a sometimes rather hard headed Chihuahua mix named Chico.   When we rescued Chico a couple of years ago he was obese.  When he came waddling through my door that cold December day he brought with him much baggage:  he weighed 25lbs, had back issues and had to be on medication to ease neck pain.  In fact, during our walks, he would fall over with neck spasms and have to be carried home.  He was a mess.  And not even a hot one!  If you are struggling with how to get your dog to lose weight, this blog should help you!

Before embarking on a pet weight loss plan, check in with your vet to be sure that there is not a medical reason behind your pet’s weight gain.  There are medical conditions such as hypothyroidism and Cushing’s disease that can make a pet gain weight.  When those are ruled out it is time to make a weight loss plan!

The key to weight loss in dogs is limiting their food and treat intake and increasing activity.  Dog weight loss is 60% diet and 40% exercise.

Small dogs such as Chihuahuas can be tricky because they are small.  Pet Parents don’t think they have it in them to be very active.  But they do!  My Chico has turned out to be my best walking partner and is ready to go at any time of the day!

Start by the following:

  1. Record what you feed and treat your pet daily.  This includes: who feeds, what they feed and how often.
  2. Record their activity daily.
  3. Gradually increase their exercise by one or more of the following: increase their walk time, quicken the pace, add a doggie backpack to your walks or play games inside using low fat treats.
  4. Measure their food and feed on a schedule.
  5. Limit their treats.
  6. Replace up to 10% of their food with pureed pumpkin.  They will feel satiated because of the added fiber but consume less calories.

Remember, the turtle wins the race!  Gradual weight loss is key to your pet’s health and easier to maintain in the future.  I promise, if you are diligent you will see results.  Our Chico weighs in at about 16lbs now and is just where he needs to be!  No more back or neck problems either.  He is a different dog!

More information can be found at one of my favorite sites:  I highly recommend taking a read.  Don’t let your pet be one of the estimated 93 million dogs or cats in the US who are overweight or obese.

Good luck and please share your pet’s weight loss story!



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Category: Exercise, PACK MOM TV, Pet Health, Pet Nutrition

About the Author ()

Jenn Fadal is a national Pet Wellness & Lifestyle Expert. In addition to being the founder of her own holistic pet boutique, Wag, this Tampa native can be seen frequently on Media General’s Daytime Television across the country, as well as on FOX, NBC and ABC. She is also a writer and subject matter expert for various publications.

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