Anyone Can Train Their Dog

By Art Hess


Obesity is the leading nutritional disease across America and affects far too many of our pets. If your pet is over-weight, he runs the risk of suffering from several serious health problems including heart disease, kidney failure, and diabetes which lead to a poor quality of life and even premature death. In most cases it’s the hand of the feeder that put the extra weight on the dog and you can do a lot to help your pet lose weight.


1. Cut the calories. Reduce the amount of your pet’s food by 20-40%. If your pet does not lose .5 to 2% of his body weight per week, cut the calories by another 20%.

2. Feed a weight reduction diet. Light foods and weight loss foods are formulated with less fat and calories plus more fiber in order to be filling.

3. Feed smaller more frequent meals. 2-4 meals daily helps to control hunger.

4. Feed other pets separately to prevent your overweight pet from eating their food.

5. Eliminate all table scraps. They are higher in calories. Eliminate all food treats and replace them with non-food treats such as toys and exercise.

6. Exercise daily to burn calories. Use walks, games, and play sessions to keep your pet active and entertained.

7. Provide multi-vitamin and fatty acid supplements to optimize overall health during weight loss.

8. Monitor the results. Record all food intake (including any treats you sneak into the diet). Record exercise and weekly weight. Weigh your pet on the same scale at the same time of the day.

9. See your veterinarian if the program is not working. While unlikely, your pet’s obesity could be caused by an undiagnosed medical condition.

10. Maintain the weight loss. If your pet gains consistently for 2 weeks or gains more than 3% of his total weight in one week, get back on the program. Continue the exercise or the pounds will re-accumulate.

Don’t let other well-meaning people talk you out of this effort. You are doing it for the good health and long-term well being of your pet. His health is your responsibility.

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