How I Met My Dog

Dieting the Dog Way

Often, we confuse overindulgence with love. A combination of too much food, too many treats and not enough exercise can cause our dogs to be pack on the pounds. Similar to people, overweight dogs are at higher risks for bone damage, diabetes, heart disease and a whole host of other health issues. We are our dog’s best advocates and managing their diet and exercise to help them maintain a healthy weight is one major key to being a good P.E.T. parent. Check out these 3 tips for helping your dog lose weight.

What does a healthy weight look like?

A healthy weight for your dog is not simply based on a number on the scale. Your dog’s appearance can tell you a lot about their fitness and health. If your dog has a lot of hair or fur and you can’t easily view their shape, run your hands over body, take note of their general figure, if they have a waistline and if you feel and ribs or hip points poking out through their skin.


How much food should my dog eat?

If you’re looking to help your dog lose weight, there are a few things to consider. The first is, is your dog simply eating too much? Overfeeding your dog is easy to do if you don’t know how much they should eat! Use this chart as a guideline for the total amount of food your dog should be eating each day. If you need help figuring out how to choose a food for your dog, check out our article: A Guide for Picking the Right Food for Your Dog.  Always consult with your veterinarian before making any drastic changes to your dog’s diet. 

Dog Weight

    Cups of Food/day


1/3 cup


½ cup


¾ cup


1 cup


1 1/3 cups


1 ¾ cups


2 ¼ cups


2 2/3 cups


3 cups


3 ½ cups


3 ¾ cups


4 ¼ cups


4 ½ cups

* These are general guidelines. Please check with your veterinarian to properly manage your dog's diet.  

How many treats should my dog get?

Use the nutritional information on your dog’s bag of food to help you calculate how many calories your dog is eating per day. Now that you know your dog’s calorie count, stick to the 10% rule: your dog’s treat consumption should not exceed 10% of their daily caloric intake. Breaking big treats into tiny morsels is a great way to increase the amount of times you can reward your dog without increasing their daily calories. When it comes to treats, less is more and smaller is better. If you’re quickly approaching your daily limit, try shoving a small treat into the crevice of a chew safe toy and see how much fun your dog has while they spend time trying to free the treat.   

Being aware of your dog’s weight is an important part of keeping them healthy. Work to get the whole family on board when discussing a plan to help your dog lose weight. Add exercise, decrease treats, manage food intake and consult your veterinarian. Trust us, your dog will thank you!

Food Facts

A low calorie, low carb, high protein diet can help your dog lose weight.  

Back to Blog