Canine Health

Benefits to Maintaining a Healthy Dog Weight and 3 Ways to Do It

Veterinarians are commonly asked, if there is one thing owners can do to keep their dogs happy and healthy, what would that be?  The answer time and again is to keep your dog at a healthy weight.  What does this mean?  A dog at a healthy weight will have a defined waist and as an owner, you should be able to easily feel the ribs with minimal fat covering.  

Keeping your dog at a healthy weight can add up to two years to their life and is essential in lifetime dog joint care.  If your dog isn’t at an ideal weight or simply needs to maintain here are three ways to help your pet reach their ideal weight.

Talk to your vet

Talk with your vet and establish a realistic weight goal for your dog.  Ask them about what the best food options are for your dog.  In many cases, a weight management kibble can be beneficial.  Consider mixing in approved fruits and vegetables in with your pet’s main food sources.  Your vet can also check for underlying conditions that affect weight gain in dogs such as hypothyroidism and diabetes.


If your dog needs to lose weight, the first change a vet will recommend is reduced portions.  Many large dog food companies provide generic feeding instructions that tend to be too much food for most dogs.  Working with your vet to correctly identify the portion ideal for your dog will help them maintain a healthy weight.       


Getting your dog outside and exercising is key to losing and maintaining a healthy weight.  Daily walks are an excellent way to get sustained exercise for both dog and owner.  Even throwing a ball in a park or the backyard is beneficial.  For dogs with high energy, consider jogging with them or taking them to a dog park regularly where they can burn off that excess energy.

By following these three simple suggestions, you can increase the life of your dog, improve the joint health for dogs, and reduce the chance of future injury and preventable disease.