5 Tips to Help Your Dog Shed Weight (not hair)

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Our FitDog Friday blog post continues our discussion about keys to a healthy dog. fitDogFriday_150x126Last week, we talked about how exercise and diet are both important components to keeping your dog fit and healthy.  We emphasized basal metabolism and how, except in the most unusual cases, a dog’s calorie burn from exercise is 10-30% of their total daily burn and thus, diet must be closely monitored even if you have an active dog.

Given that fact, I want to point out how exercise can have a huge impact on your dog’s weight over time.  Let’s use the same example from last week. We had a 50 lb. dog that we estimated would burn around 100 calories per day with 30 minutes of jogging per day.  dietCompared to this dog’s basal calorie burn of 725, 100 doesn’t seem like much.  But, over time, it can make all the difference.

Assuming this dog’s feeding remained the same, if they stopped exercising, it would gain over 10 lbs. in the course of 1 year.  That is 20% of their total body weight and would put them on the edge of obesity!  You see, that is the reality of getting overweight and out of shape (or conversely, getting lean and in shape).  It happens slowly over time, which makes it harder to notice the changes and in my opinion, harder to keep under control.  It creeps up slowly, insidiously, and next thing you know, your dog is overweight.   Below are some tricks that we have used with SlimDoggy Jack during his weight loss period.  We also use these, to some degree, on an ongoing basis to keep our dogs near their perfect weight.

5 Tips to Help Your Dog Stay Lean
Are you trying to help your dog lose a few pounds?  Perhaps getting them ready for bathing suit season? 😉  Here are 5 tips that can really helpfat1 you stay on track during the weight loss period and maintain an ideal weight once your dog has reached their goal.

  1. Start with a vet visit.  Get your dog a proper physical exam to make sure there are no underlying heath issues and get your vet’s opinion on a healthy target weight.
  2. Weigh your dog frequently.  You will get a baseline weight from your vet visit.  Ask them if you can swing by every 2-3 weeks for a weigh in (they will say yes).  Weight loss should be slow and steady so don’t expect to see drastic changes from weigh-in to weigh-in.  Rather, use the information to make ‘course corrections’ if progress is stalled.
  3. Exercise your dog a little longer or more intensely.  This will increase the calorie burn and over time it will add up to accelerated weight loss.  Plus your dog will fell better and stronger.
  4. Be precise with your feeding amounts.  Don’t rely on the dog food label to tell you how much to feed your dog. As we wrote about before, this information is too generic and likely not applicable to your dog.  If possible, use the SlimDoggy app which will tell you exactly how many calories your dog requires based on their daily activity.  Adjust the daily feeding amounts if your dogs exercise activity varies from day to day.
  5. Measure.  Once you know how much to feed, make sure you are serving the correct amount.  Use a measuring cup to be certain.  And don’t forget to account for treats!  They can add up over the course of the day and if not monitored, can sabotage your dog’s weight loss progress. We sell SlimDoggy scoops to help you measure accurately (in the Store).

Do you have any weight loss or exercise tips that have worked with your dog?  Please share them in the comments.


fitDogFriday_avatarPlease enjoy our FitDog Friday Blog Hop brought to you by SlimDoggy and our co-hosts Peggy’s Pet Place and To Dog With Love. Join the Hop or just enjoy the links below – lots of fun fitness tips and advice!
We have some extra special giveaways this week for Bloggers who link up to our Blog Hop, but we are also offering prizes for our readers too, just enter a comment on any of our FitDog Friday Blog Hop Hosts sites. Read about our special giveaway raffle here.


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  1. Woof! Woof! It is important to get weighed on a regular basis. The pet store scale is not always accurate so going to the vet is the best (our vet offers no appt needed and its free of charge). Using the proper measuring cup is crucial. Also age of the dog is an element to consider how much daily food. Happy FitDog Friday. Lots of Golden Woofs, Sugar
    SUGAR: Golden Woofs recently posted…Bring Creativity On Your Dog WalksMy Profile

    • Paws Up to Sugar. Totally agree on the Woofing comments & the 5 tips to helping your dog remain trim by Slim Doggy. All helps in turning your dog into a lean machine…….

  2. Great tips as always, SlimDoggy. I often ask people that don’t know how much their dog weighs if they know their own weight. Most do- sometimes to the 2nd decimal! I tell them their vet will likely let them pop in any time to use the scale and tease them that I’m the opposite- I’ve no idea what I weigh but can rattle off all three dogs last weigh ins!
    Bethany recently posted…Interview with a SAMPMy Profile

  3. Glad to have the Slimdoggy app around to take out the guesswork out of the “how much should I be feeding my dog” equation.
    Jessica recently posted…WW #70 – Brave SoulsMy Profile

  4. Roxy has had small weight issues in the past, I weigh her frequently to keep on track. 1/2 pound on a tiny dog is a lot.
    Roxy the traveling dog recently posted…Hiking feels so goodMy Profile

    • You are so right…the smaller they are, the more easily the weight affects them. Good for you keeping a close eye on it.

  5. Wags SlimDoggy – great blog/recommendations. It doesn’t take long for those pounds to creep on…and just a few pounds can have serious impact on the organs, joints and life of a dog! Keep it up!
    DogTread K9FITvest recently posted…Canine Fitness Coach: How to Develop a Quality Dog Exercise ProgramMy Profile

  6. I find it somewhat easier to keep my dog’s food intake at the proper amount than my own. Does the SlimDoggy scoop work on humans too?!
    Peggy Frezon recently posted…FitDog Friday–How author Patti Lawson and her dog Sadie stay fitMy Profile

    • Of course it does!

  7. […] though we’re a day late, we are participating in the FitDog Friday blog hop.  Thank you to SlimDoggy, Peggy’s Pet Place, and To Dog With Love for hosting this wonderful blog hop to encourage […]

  8. sound advice! what are your thoughts on a raw diet? good or bad for weight?
    Human Rescues Dog recently posted…Baby, It’s Cold OutsideMy Profile

    • Raw diets can be good for weight as long as you monitor the quantities.

      One thing we like to point out to people is that they don’t need to think about their diet choices in absolute terms. It is perfectly fine to mix in some raw or home cooked food along with commercial product. We use raw veggies a lot, but not raw meat, for example.

  9. Those are such great tips. Our dogs tend to get a little heavier over the Winter when we all exercise less, and we need to work harder to stay on top of that, especially as they are all getting older. It doesn’t occur to me to just take them to the vet’s office to weigh them, of course they wouldn’t have a problem with that! Our vet is great too at letting us know when he thinks they are getting a bit heavy, but as they only have yearly exams it could still get out of control.
    Jan K recently posted…FitDog Friday – GamesMy Profile

    • Because your dogs are less active in the winter (as are most dogs), you should adjust your feedings slightly to account for the diminished levels of activity. That way, your periodic weigh ins won’t result in any unwanted surprises!

      Thanks for stopping by!

  10. Now that Sydney’s arthritis pain is managed, we can get back to our walks and this week, we went on several 3 miles walks and she’s loving it and so am I.

    The bonus to Sydney getting into shape again and Rodrigo and Blue getting exercise too (exercise = better behaved dogs), is that I’m getting into better shape too. My butt looks fabulous!
    Kimberly, The Fur Mom recently posted…Fur Mom Confessions | A Birthday Only a Dog Mom Can AppreciateMy Profile

  11. My dogs and I dog sled in the winter and we hike all year around. During the spring and summer we walk everyday. This helps all of us stay in shape.

    • Great ideas! Thanks for sharing.

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