Ask Seth: Canine Weight Loss

My female Cairn Terrier is 9 years old and needs to lose weight.  I feed her all Wellness Dog Food for weight management:  1/2 cup dry in the morning with 2 teaspoons of wet all natural stew mix and 1/2 cup dry at night.   Her only treat is 3 petite Wellness dog biscuits a day.  I walk her twice a day.  My vet found no health issues. What can I do for my overweight dog? F. Sutter

You have started on the right direction by providing your dog with a weight management feed.  By slightly restricting the calories, you have begun with fewer calories consumed and now you need to increase the calories burned by increasing the length and frequency of the walks.

The basis of weight loss is to eat less and exercise more.   Simply having access to free run the house or a yard is not enough for most dogs.  Getting her on a steady exercise routine will melt the pounds away much quicker.  Simply switching your dog to a lite or diet food may not be enough for the desired dog weight loss.

If you are concerned that your dog is still not losing weight, contact your veterinarian so you can rule out disease processes.  Usually, simple blood tests can determine if there is something else going on.  Dogs over age 3 can have an under-active thyroid function (hypothyroidism).  This decreases activity levels and metabolism, thus allowing for increased weight gain.  Once properly diagnosed, a medication is added to the diet and exercise, resulting in quicker results.  If needed, your vet can prescribe an FDA approved dog weight loss medicine called Slentrol.  Your vet will know best if this is indicated.   I would only use this if exercise and food restrictions are unsuccessful.

Were you successful in getting your dog to lose weight? Tell us how you did it in the comment section!

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