Whenever we start a weight loss journey, whether for ourselves or dogs, it takes preparation and a determination to succeed, but it is worth it.
As little as five pounds added weight can have an impact on our dog’s health so it’s essential we keep on top of our pet’s weight to make sure they’re within a healthy range and put a plan together to help them shift those extra pounds if they’re overweight.
Dog weight chart: How to tell if your dog is overweight
There are three easy ways to tell if your dog is overweight.
This chart below explains what most dogs should look like if they’re a healthy weight, overweight or even underweight.
What to do if your dog is overweight
If your dog is overweight, it’s now time to put a weight loss plan together to help them shift those extra pounds.
Before you start your journey, speak with your vet to make sure there are no underlying health issues to consider. Then, once you know there is no hidden reason for your dog's weight gain, you can research diets, such as weight loss dog foods.
It's important to remember that there is a difference between weight loss, maintenance and light foods. This is why research is so important because you can make sure you find a diet dog food that’s just right for your dog’s needs.
Your vet may recommend one or two to consider, but since you know your dog better than anyone, the final decision about which food is best for your dog will remain your choice.
Once you've settled on a diet for your dog, the next step will be to monitor their food intake and adjust to suit - for example, you may need to adjust your dog's portion size after a few weeks or months so they don't start to maintain before reaching their target weight.
How fast should a dog lose weight?
According to VCA Hospitals, a safe loss for your dog is between 3-5% per month, but it will vary based on their breed, size and how much they have to lose. In most cases though, dogs will meet their target weight within 6-8 months.
Exercise is key to weight loss
Once you're happy that your dog's diet is settled, the next thing to consider is how to increase their exercise safely.
This infographic shares some useful statistics about recommended daily exercise and typical healthy weights for some of the UK's most popular dog breeds.
Next week we will be sharing more top tips on how to make exercising with your dog fun! In the meantime, head over to our social pages and share your own weight loss tips with us - we'd love to hear from you.