5 simple ways to help your dog lose weight healthy

Content approved by vet
  • Sharing is caring

You probably realise the fact that overweight can harm your dog’s health. So, it’s just a matter of knowing how to shed a few pounds in the right ways and then executing your plan. Recently, a vet expert member of our forum, Dr Renata Snow, have generously shared the below practical and thoughtful tips in response to a Hellodog member’s concern which we hope a wider audience (you) can also benefit from.

Here’s the question posted on our forum by a concerned dog owner:

I heard some friend said we shouldn’t cut food portion, instead, we need to switch to a low-protein-low-calorie diet. Is this right? Can’t we just cut the food portion of our current diet?

Here are several ways to lose weight – and which way is best depends on what food, and how much, you are currently feeding now. Dr Renata Snow advises:

1. Start weighing or measuring out all the food you give each day (including treats!), if you haven’t already.

2. Control treats – either cut them out altogether, or set aside some of your dog’s daily food allowance to use for treats throughout the day (e.g. if your dog gets 200g dry food per day, give it 180g in its regular meals and save 20g to use as treats).

3. Reduce the total amount fed (yes, this is a valid and important option in most cases). To avoid making your dog feel sad/ hungry, try reducing the quantity gradually (exact guidelines e.g. by 10%, by 20%, by grammes will depend on the individual dog – best ask your vet).

4. Depending on your dog’s current diet, and provided your dog doesn’t need to be on another prescription diet, consider switching to a higher-fibre, lower-calorie weight loss diet. This will help your dog feel full on fewer calories.

5. Try swapping out some of the dog food for cooked, non-starchy vegetables – again to add fibre and reduce calories.

Overall, you should aim for gradual rather than sudden weight loss, and once you get to your desired weight you should then feed to maintain this weight. It helps if you pop your dog into your clinic every few weeks just to put him/ her on the scales to measure the weight. In terms of what your desired weight should be, your vet is the best person to advise but a common guideline is that you should be able to feel the ribs but not see them.

Generally if a dog isn’t *very* overweight, you’re probably fine to try cutting the food portion first. If you’re still not getting anywhere, then consider a weight loss diet further down the line.

Hellodog tips: If going into your vet’s clinic is not too convenient, then you can simply use your scale at home. Carry your dog and step on a scale to measure the weight of you and your dog together, and then just you step on the scale so you can get the weight of your dog by subtracting yours.

If you are not yet a Hellodog member, don’t forget to join us now! It’s FREE, offering access to parties, giveaways, pet care tips and more. Also, feel free to check out what’s new on our forum.

Advice provided by Dr Renata Snow, who grew up in Hong Kong and graduated from the University of Cambridge Veterinary School.


Hellodog does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. See more details here.

  • Sharing is caring
Be the first to comment

Log in
Don't have an account? Sign up now — it's fast and free.

You may also like

Sign up for Subscription

Special offers and free parenting tips delivered to your inbox, a few times a month.