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10 Tips to Help Your Chubby Dog Shed Pounds
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10 Tips to Help Your Chubby Dog Shed Pounds

Critter Culture Staff
Updated Jan 17, 2023

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When it comes to feeding our furry friends, we want to make sure they're getting everything they need to be healthy and happy. Unfortunately, sometimes this can result in overfeeding, which can lead to obesity. Carrying around extra weight can put strain on a dog's joints and organs which can cause a host of health problems, including diabetes, high blood pressure, respiratory problems, and even shortened life expectancy.

1

Prevention is better than cure

Running through the sand dunes with dog Dougal Waters/ Getty Images

Avoid letting your dog become overweight in the first place by monitoring their food intake and activity level from an early age. Some dogs are more prone to weight gain than others; if you suspect your pup is one of them, be extra diligent about monitoring their food and exercise habits.

A little prevention now will go a long way toward keeping your best friend healthy and happy for years to come. If you notice they're starting to pack on the pounds, cut back on the treats and increase their exercise.

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2

Consult with your veterinarian

veterinarian listening to heartbeat of dog LWA/Dann Tardif/ Getty Images

If your canine friend is carrying a few extra pounds, it's important to consult with your veterinarian about the best way to help them slim down. Depending on your dog's health and activity level, your vet may recommend a different diet or exercise regimen. They may also suggest some supplements to boost metabolism or curb appetite.

The most important thing is to ensure you follow your vet's recommendations and work together to help your dog reach their ideal weight. With a little patience and perseverance, you can help your dog get back in shape and enjoy a healthier, happier life.

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3

Remember that every dog is different

Six dogs side by side in back of station wagon GK Hart/Vikki Hart/ Getty Images

When it comes to weight loss, there's no one-size-fits-all solution, even for dogs. While some pups may be able to drop a few pounds by cutting back on treats, others may need a more nuanced approach. If your dog is carrying extra weight, don't despair. There are plenty of things you can do to help them slim down; remember that every dog is different, and what works for one may not work for another.

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4

Up the activity level

Young woman practicing downward facing dog pose playing with her pet in the living room hobo_018/ Getty Images

Start slowly - a little extra exercise each day can make a big difference over time. Fortunately, there are some easy ways to increase your dog's cardio. Try playing fetch in the backyard for a few minutes per day or going on shorter walks more often. You may even want to try new activities, like agility training or swimming. By starting slowly and gradually increasing the amount of exercise, you can give your dog the physical activity they need without tiring them too much.

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5

Cut the unhealthy treats

A cute sad dog is sitting and waiting to get a reward. sanjagrujic/ Getty Images

Many commercial dog treats are high in calories and low in nutritional value, making them a major contributor to weight gain. In addition, many of these treats are highly processed and loaded with unhealthy additives. By cutting out unhealthy snacks, you can help your dog lose weight and improve their overall health. Instead of processed treats, opt for healthy alternatives like carrots, apples, or green beans. These options are low in calories and packed with nutrients, making them a much better choice for your furry friend.

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6

Don't feed your pooch human food

Jack Russell Terrier dog in kitchen alexei_tm/ Getty Images

While it may be tempting to give Fido a little something extra from your plate, doing so can quickly lead to obesity. Dogs can gain weight if they consume more calories than they burn. In addition to being unhealthy, obese dogs are also at risk for a number of health problems, including joint pain, diabetes, and respiratory difficulties. So next time you're tempted to sneak your pup a bite of your hamburger, remember that you would only be setting them up for a lifetime of health problems.

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7

Be patient!

Little fat pug sitting on sidewalk in summer park o_sa/ getty Images

Weight loss in dogs takes time and should be done slowly to avoid health problems. While putting your pup on a crash diet may be tempting, sudden weight fluctuations can cause health problems, including liver disease and pancreatitis.

Instead of going cold turkey, start cutting your dog's food back by 10–20%. Then, monitor their weight closely, make adjustments as needed, and increase their exercise gradually, as too much activity can lead to health issues.

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8

Talk to a professional

Cropped photo of a receptionist attending a client while petting her dog Guillermo Spelucin Runciman/ Getty Images

If you're struggling to help your dog lose weight, consider seeking the help of a professional dog trainer. It could be just what you (and your pup) need to finally start seeing results. A dog trainer can help you create a tailored plan for your pup to help them shed those extra pounds. Of course, they can also help with obedience training and behavior modification, which are essential for any healthy dog.

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9

Make sure your pooch has plenty of fresh water

young white man giving his dog water from a bottle on the mountain raquel arocena torres/ Getty Images

Dogs need plenty of fresh water to stay cool in the summer heat and to avoid dehydration. However, water can also help fill your dog's stomach and reduce their appetite. In addition, water can help to flush out toxins and keep your dog's kidneys healthy.

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10

Try a weight-loss dog food

dog looking up at owner holding bowl of food Yellow Dog Productions/ Getty Images

There are special dog foods available that are made for pups who need to lose weight. These formulas are usually higher in protein and fiber, which can help your dog feel fuller longer, and lower in calories, so they can lose weight without feeling starved. Specially-formulated dog food also often has added vitamins and minerals, such as omega-3 fatty acids, which can benefit your pooch's overall health. Healthy fats have the added advantage of helping promote a healthy coat and skin.

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