Getting an Overweight Dog in Shape


An important aspect of being a responsible dog owner is being sure your dog is in shape. You may think your fat dog is adorable just the way he is, but the truth is he could already be at risk for health problems. Certain breeds will be affected more than others by even the slightest weight gain, so it’s important to maintain your dog’s fitness throughout his entire life. Also, you want to make sure your dog does not have any underlying health or metabolic conditions such as hypothyroidism, which might be making him or her overweight.

Different breeds have different silhouettes, and it’s important to understand what’s normal and appropriate for your specific dog. In a Labrador Retriever, for example, the underline of the dog is pretty much a straight line from the elbow all the way to the rear leg. 

A Rhodesian Ridgeback, by contrast, should have a little bit of a “tuck-up” (or waist ) and the ribcage should gently curve upward before it joins the body at the loin. A Ridgeback who has no discernible waistline is a fat Ridgeback. 

Conversely, there are other breeds – including many of the Sighthounds, such as Salukis – that are naturally lean. If you can’t see a hint of rib on an Azawakh, for instance, chances are it may be slightly overweight. 

If you have a less-than-common breed, your veterinarian may not be familiar with its correct outline and weight.

 If you are in touch with your dog’s breeder, don’t hesitate to forward some photos – ideally, taken from the side and above – to get another opinion..

Proper Diet

Dogs gain weight the same way humans do: by eating too much and exercising too little. Dogs that eat excessive amounts of treats, table scraps, and food at mealtimes will gain weight quickly, especially if they are not very active. 

Before starting any new diet or exercise plan for your dog, have it approved by your veterinarian. One simple solution to jump-start your dog’s weight loss is to feed your dog his normal food in the morning but replacing his second meal with mostly green beans (low sodium), a bit of kibble, and a doggie multi-vitamin in the evening. 

Switching your dog’s treats to healthier options will help him lose weight, too. Cut back on calories by greatly reducing the number of treats given at a time. Also, try replacing biscuits, cheese, and other high-fat treats with fresh chopped carrots, apples, or green beans that are free of added flavoring. Your dog will most likely still enjoy this new, crunchy treat! 

If you are training your dog and give treats as a reward, remember to subtract those calories from your dog’s food allotment. 

Lastly, don’t make the common error of associating food with love. Plying your dog with food to the point of obesity will only likely shorten the amount of time you will have him in your life. And don’t put too much stock in your dog’s opinion, either: Many dogs will act ravenous even after they have met their caloric requirements for the day..

Lots of Exercise

Of course, additional exercise will help your dog lose weight. Most dogs love to go for a walk, run, swim, or hike, so be sure to get outside and enjoy some outdoor activities with him! 

For an obese dog, it’s best to start out slow and increase exercise over time once he starts losing weight. However, be sure you aren’t overexerting him, especially if he has a medical condition, and watch for signs of heatstroke. 

Of course, additional exercise will help your dog lose weight. Most dogs love to go for a walk, run, swim, or hike, so be sure to get outside and enjoy some outdoor activities with him! 

For an obese dog, it’s best to get your dog checked out by your veterinarian and to discuss an appropriate exercise program for your dog. Start out slow and increase exercise over time once he starts losing weight.

Training to Run

If you opt to run with your dog, keep his age in mind. Youngsters can damage joints by running repetitively on hard surfaces such as concrete or asphalt. 

Many breeders, especially of large breeds, recommend avoiding jogging on hard surfaces until a dog is at least 12 months old, and ideally 18. Instead, try free play on grass or another suitably soft surface such as packed sand. 

If you’d like to start running with your dog once he reaches maturity, be sure that he is in peak physical condition. Check with your vet to make sure that he doesn’t have a physical weakness – such as heart issues, orthopedic issues such as hip dysplasia, or a luxating patella (the doggie version of a “trick knee”) – that could make running painful or even dangerous. 

If your dog could use some strengthening in the muscle department, equipment such as exercise balls can be used to increase balance and stability.

Making Exercise Fun 

Canine sports are a great way to exercise your dog while building the bond between the two of you. Agility, which is basically a timed obstacle course, requires you to be able to communicate with your dog via hand signals and body language, and all that zooming through tunnels and over jumps burns plenty of calories. 

If you’re a newbie, find a training class so you can introduce your dog – and yourself – to the obstacles you’ll encounter on the course. Constantly be aware of how your dog looks and acts. Slow down or stop if he is panting excessively, and find a cool or shaded spot for some relief. 

Dogs of all breeds can overheat. Brachycephalic, or short-nosed breeds, can overheat very easily, so on hot days opt for a game of indoor fetch in the air conditioning or short walks in the early morning or late at night. 

No matter what kind of dog you have, remember that asphalt can be sizzling on hot summer days – keep those unprotected paw pads in mind! All dogs will need to get acclimated to running for extended periods on hard surfaces.

Products to help an overweight dog:

Sensitive Light | Complete nutrition for sensitive dogs in need of weight management

Sensitive Light is a gluten free product suitable for dogs that suffer from sensitive digestive systems. A recipe with moderate energy content suitable for less active dogs, overweight dogs or dogs that tend to gain weight quickly.
Breed size: All breed sizes
Protein: 26.0% (80.4% animal protein of total protein content)
Fat content: 9.5%
Check it out

Optimal Light | Complete nutrition for dogs in need of weight management

Optimal Light is a recipe with moderate energy content suitable for less active dogs, overweight dogs or dogs that tend to gain weight quickly.
Breed size: All breed sizes
Protein: 21.0% (60% animal protein of total protein content)
Fat content: 9.0%
Check it out

Health Problems Caused by Obesity in Dogs

Dachshunds, Basset Hounds, and other long and low-bodied breeds that become overweight add strain to their backs and joints, making it painful or difficult for them to walk or sit. 

Brachycephalic breeds (meaning they have short noses and flat faces) such as Pugs, Boxers, and Bulldogs have an increased risk of breathing and respiratory problems from being overweight. 

In addition to shortened life expectancy, overweight and obese dogs are at higher risk for diseases such as diabetes, arthritis, high blood pressure, breathing problems, and cancer. Have your veterinarian monitor your dog’s health and weight frequently to be sure he is losing weight and improving his overall health. 

Even the slightest difference will improve his overall quality of life.

Other dog products:



Rep, S | Classic rope toy with bone-like shape

Great for interactive playing, tossing & tugging


Boll, S | Bouncing rubber ball

Great for long-lasting games of fetch



Bravo, 150 g | Gluten free snacks with lamb

Delicious training treats for dogs



Laxolja, 300 ml | Premium salmon oil that supports healthy skin & shiny coat

Tasty meal topper & a perfect energy source


Husse happy pets!



Frankie is a 16-year-old cat who was earlier this year diagnosed with Kidney issues. When tasked with looking for suitable food for his condition we discovered Husse's Exclusive Urinary. Frankie has happily been eating Husse since and is still extremely healthy at his old age!


Olly is a thirteen-year-old Bichon Frise, Who has been on Husse for the last 6 years. Being a white-haired pink-skinned dog he is prone to skin issues however ever since using Husse laxolja salmon oil and Ocean care mini salmon dog food he has been In perfect condition with no skin problems arising. Thank you Husse for taking care of my boy!

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Husse - Swedish food for dogs, cats and horses

Husse is a Swedish producer of food for dogs, cats and horses with over 30 years of experience on the market. Husse's main goal is to promote a healthy lifestyle for animals. All Husse feeds, treats and supplements are made only from the highest quality, carefully selected ingredients. All products are manufactured according to traditional Scandinavian recipes, and the production lines are under constant veterinary control. Apart from the quality of Husse products, it also means the quality of the service. Husse distributors are thoroughly trained in animal nutrition and will be happy to help you choose the right diet for your dog, cat or horse. Husse products are not available in a traditional sales network - we deliver them straight from the factory to the customer, so we can offer the highest quality products at competitive prices. Husse food can always be ordered with door-to-door delivery. 

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In Husse's offer you will find everything your pet may need. Our dry food for dogs and cats is a great foundation of their diet - dry food is properly balanced diets tailored to the needs of dogs and cats of various sizes and at various stages of life, i.e. puppies and kittens, adult and senior dogs and cats. Do you have a dog or cat with special nutritional needs? We took care of the special needs of animals with a sensitive digestive system and food allergies, after sterilization or castration, and pets with a tendency to overweight. Are you looking for toys for dogs and cats? Husse toys are made of the highest quality materials, they are durable and will provide your pet with hours of entertainment. You can diversify the healthy and natural diet of your dog, cat or horse with tasty delicacies. Treats for dogs, cats and horses are a tasty addition to their diet and a great reward during training and training. Do you need grooming products for your pet? Get shampoos, care cosmetics, oils and lotions with which you will take care of the beautiful and healthy appearance of your dog, cat or horse.