Dog nutrition.

With over half of this country’s pets qualifying as overweight or obese, weight management is an important topic on which pet owners should be educated. Our veterinary team at Brodie Animal Hospital is excited to share our best tips for dog weight management. 

Calling It What It Is

Knowing whether or not your dog is overweight is a good place to start. With so many breeds of dogs and variations within breeds, there is no perfect number on the scale. Rather, determining your pet’s healthy weight is more of a hands-on endeavor.

To decide if your pet is overweight or not:

  • Assess if you can easily count your dog’s ribs when you lightly run your fingers down their side
  • Take a peek from above and note if you can make out an hourglass shape
  • Look from the side and determine if you can see your pet’s waist tuck upwards

If you are unable to do one or more of the above, chances are that your pet has a few pounds to lose. You might also consider referencing a body condition score chart to further determine where you are starting. 

If you think that your pet might be overweight, it would be a good time to schedule an appointment so that we can help you determine a healthy weight and set some goals. 

Dog Weight Management Tips

If you have determined that your dog needs to lose weight, it can be hard to know where to start. Dog weight management doesn’t have to be difficult, though, and with Brodie Animal Hospital on your team, we can accomplish your pet’s goals. 

Don’t forget the important reasons behind your goals, either. Keeping your pet at an optimal weight can help your pet live a longer, healthier life and decrease the risk of problems like diabetes, cardiovascular disease, osteoarthritis, and cancer. That alone should help keep your eye on the prize!

Consider our top tips to help you on your way:

  • Know how many calories per day your pet should be eating (hint: we can help you with this one!)
  • Use an actual measuring cup for your pet’s food so you know how much you are feeding
  • Be cognizant of added calories in treats, dental chews, and supplements like fish oil
  • Avoid fad diets such as raw diets or grain free diets unless under close supervision
  • Address underlying mobility issues like arthritis to encourage healthy activity
  • Move your pet’s food bowl further away from their resting place
  • Make an effort each day to get your pet up and moving to their ability
  • Avoid self-feeders that take away your control 
  • Substitute low-calorie veggies in for treats or part of a meal (carrots, celery, and green beans are great options)

Healthy weight loss is about one to five pounds per month, with most dogs achieving a goal weight within six months. 

There is no secret to healthy dog weight management. Rather, your dedication to your pet’s health is often the only driving force you need for success. We are happy to be on your team to help you get there.