Paring Down Your Portly Pup

By: DogTrekker Staff

By Chris Pitts, RVT at Broadway Animal Hospital

Feeling like your dog might be a little plump? If you can't see a waistline on your dog, if you cannot feel his ribs under his chubs, then you might be right.

The easiest way to get your dog on a diet is to first measure out the food you are currently feeding him. Then, cut it by an eighth. For example, if your feed a cup of food per feeding, feed seven-eighth of a cup.

To make sure the pounds are coming off, make sure to get starting weight for your dog. Most veterinary offices will let you come into the clinic to weigh your dog. Then, reweigh him every two weeks to track his progress.

Still not losing weight? Then you might need to have his thyroid checked. Dogs are prone to having low thyroid levels, particularly those that are middle-aged or older. Low thyroid can cause weight gain. Luckily, hypothyroidism is easily treated with a relatively inexpensive thyroid supplement.

Why not just increase your dog's activity level? Well, an increase in exercise, such as a longer walk, is beneficial. However, most of the time we find that people are exercising their pets to the best of their abilities, and food intake ends up being the real culprit in weight gain. But if you feel you can make it for another trip around the block, your dog would love it.