Dog Care

Fat Dogs! 11 Hacks To Help Them Shed Those Pesky Pounds And Get Fit!

Fat Dogs! 11 Hacks To Help Them Shed Those Pesky Pounds And Get Fit!

Written By Amica Graber

Jan 4, 2017

If your dog could talk, the chances are that they’ll tell you that they don’t mind being a fat dog. Fat dogs are happy dogs!

texts from dog fat


Although Rover would be quite content eating his little face off, as a responsible dog owner it’s your job to know when pooches is becoming a porker.

An overweight dog, especially one from an obesity-prone breed, is likely to suffer from health problems that no-one wants for their precious pup. If you’re looking for advice on how to help your dog work off their extra poundage, you’ve come to the right place!

Health Problems In Fat Dogs

Here are some of the health problems that uniquely impact overweight, obese and fat dogs:

• Damage to joints, knees and ligaments

• Diabetes

• Heart disease

• Lower stamina

• Heat intolerance

• High blood pressure

• Increased risk of cancer

• Issues with skin and coat

• Decreased lifespan

Dog Breeds Prone To Obesity

• Basset Hounds

• Beagles

• Boxers

• Cairn Terriers

• Cavalier King Charles Spaniels

• Chihuahuas

• Cocker Spaniels

• Dachshunds

• English Bulldogs

• English Mastiffs

• Golden Retrievers

• Labrador Retrievers

• Newfoundland

• Pit Bulls

• Pugs

• Rottweilers

• Scottish Terriers

• St. Bernards

• Yorkies

How To Help Your Dog Lose Weight

  1. Limit how many treats you give your dog

  2. Use portion control with meals

  3. Switch your dog to a healthy diet

  4. How to exercise your dog (even when it’s raining)

Limit how many treats you give your dog

dog hates snack

It’s easy to fall into the trap of using food bribery to keep your dog in line. Or perhaps you’re just too liberal with the treat jar? Either way, keep a close watch on how often you reward your dog with treats, as they usually contain the equivalent of human “treats” when it comes to calorie count, fat content and carb ratio. Consider switching to healthier dog treats, and limiting how often you dish out treats as a reward.

Related: How To Make Grain-Free, Raw & Healthy Dog Treats In Under 30 Seconds

Use portion control with meals

shocked dog gif

One of the easiest ways to ensure your dog remains a healthy weight is to use portion control come meal time. Do you know what your dog’s ideal meal size is?

Dog Food Calculator

Dog Weight

Meal Portion

Up to 10 pounds

¼ to ¾ cup

10 - 25 pounds

¾ - 1 cup

25 - 50 pounds

1 - 2 cups

50 - 75 pounds

2 - 2 ½  cups

Over 75 pounds

2 - 4 cups

Switch your dog to a healthy diet

Creating healthy homemade dog food may seem like a luxury hobby, but by using a few simple ingredients and a crockpot, you can create cost-efficient healthy dog food. Try using this homemade crockpot dog food printable for a few ideas to get you started!

dog food in the crockpot

How to exercise your dog (even when it’s raining)

Dogs like to be outside! No matter what, you should take your dog for two outdoor walks a day; once in the morning, and once in the evening. Avoid walking when it’s either boiling hot or freezing cold. If you can find a happy medium, take your dog out then. If the weather is a no-go, you can spend a day running up and down the stairs with your dog or playing indoor fetch, but after a day your dog is likely to become bored and destructive without an outdoor adventure.

Here are some quick tips for meeting your dog’s exercise goals:

Try Using A Fitness Tracker To Log Steps

A Fitbit isn’t just useful for keeping an eye on your fitness goals! Set a step goal for your dog, so you know that you’re taking your dog for a full walk, and not mistaking a 15 minute stroll for a 30 minute power-walk. Yes, dog pedometers are a thing — but wearing a wearable while walking is a great way to meet yours and your pup’s exercise needs.

Dog Exercise Is About Mind And Body

Dogs don’t just need physical exercise alone — mental stimulation plays a huge role in wearing out a hyperactive dog breed. Exploring a new path or trail counts as mental stimulation, as Fido is having fun with new sites and smells. Alternatively, dog puzzles, agility training and learning new tricks will all meet your dog’s mental needs for activity.

Understanding Your Dog’s Exercise Needs

Dogs with high exercise needs require more than a brisk walk around the block. Smaller, less active dog breeds like pugs are going to struggle with intense exercise, but still need gentle stimulation to ward off obesity.

Exercising A High Energy Dog Breed

When walking just won’t cut it, here’s some ideas for exercising an active dog breed:

• Hiking trails

• Running

• Agility classes

• Flyball

• Playing frisbee

• Learning new, advanced tricks

• Swimming (provided it’s safe and your dog can swim)

Exercising A Low Energy Dog Breed


Even low-energy dogs need a twice-daily walk! But here are some other gentle activities for the short-legged burrito bandito in your life:

• Playing fetch

• Running up and down the stairs

• Playing a tug-of-war game

• Investing in treat dispensing toys for mental stimulation (limit the treats for weight loss)

The Dog Runner

Running with your dog can be a fun and rewarding way to torch calories and bond with your pet. But before you order a reflective doggy vest and hands-free leash online, make sure that you still put Fido’s health path ahead of yours.

Not all dogs are natural-born runners. For instance, the “flat-faced” breeds such as pugs, bulldogs, and pekingese, are not suitable for running as they’re unable to inhale enough oxygen needed for running. Other short-legged dog breeds, like the Basset Hound, will also struggle with steep inclines and outdoor running.

But if you own one of the following breeds, these are the best dogs for runners:

1. Rhodesian Ridgebacks

2. Weimaraners

3. Border Collies

4. Australian Shepherds

5. German Shepherds

6. Dalmatians

7. Alaskan Malamutes

8. Siberian Huskies

9. Vizlas

10. Airedale Terriers

11. Jack Russell Terriers

12. Poodles

13. English Setters

14. Belgian Shepherds

15. German Shorthaired Pointers

16. Brittany Spaniels

17. Labrador Retrievers

18. Boxers

19. Australian Cattle Dogs

20. American Staffordshire Terriers

21. Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retrievers

22. Irish Water Spaniels

23. Irish Setters

Best Hands Free Leash For Running

The iron doggy hands free leash is considered to be the best leash for runners. Fitness Magazine, Women’s Running and Triathlete Magazine have all endorsed the iron doggy hands free leash as the perfect accessory for running with dogs.

Running with a leash in your hand means a compromised running form, and as your dog is likely to get distracted by squirrels, stray food, and abruptly smelling bushes rather than focusing on running, having a hands free leash will make running with your dog far less of a hassle.

Amazon also offers an array of hands free dog leashes, such as the Mighty Paws hands free leash and the Tuff Mutt.

Dog Backpack

Does your dog wake you up in the middle of the night? Do you walk for miles, but Fido is still ready to play once you hit the couch? Some dogs need a job — especially breeds that were developed to be working dogs, like certain breeds of spaniel and sled dogs. Maximize your dog’s workout with a dog backpack.

By adding resistance in the form of a backpack your dog now has a “job” to do, which is to carry around the backpack on walks. It doubles the efficiency of your dog’s exercise without having to spend extra time on the trail.

Have you discovered an ingenious way to tackle your dog’s weight problem? Share your story in the comments!