How to get your dog in shape

Weight loss is tough for anyone - two or four-legged.  Losing weight and getting in shape not only adds years to your pet's life it can also make those extra years more enjoyable.

Why a healthy weight is important for your dog
If a dog is just five pounds over it's ideal weight, it's at risk for developing some serious medical conditions.  When a dog is overweight or obese, it's not a question of if it will develop a related illness, but rather how many and how soon.

Veterinarians expect overweight dogs to live shorter lives than their fitter counterparts.  Heavy dogs ten to be less energetic and playful.  It's common to think dogs that lie around are just lazy, making it easy to overlook the lethargy that results from being over-weight or obese.  If your dog doesn't run and jump, it might be overweight.  But don't worry, your veterinary team can help your pooch get in shape!

Start with calories
A weight loss formula seems simple: fewer calories, in plus more calories, out equals weight loss.  Unfortunately, it's not that simple.  First, never put your dog on a diet until it's been examined by your veterinarian.  A medical condition may be causing your dog's excess weight.  The veterinarian will rule out these diseases before putting your dog on a diet.
Once the veterinarian prescribes a diet, the next step is calculating the calories your dog needs.  First, the veterinarian will use your dog's initial target or ideal weight to figure out how many calories your dog should eat each day.  To figure out how many calories are in your pet's food, check the label.  If it doesn't tell you what you need to know, ask your veterinarian.
Remember, when introducing a new food, allow several days for the transition.  We recommend gradually adding the new diet over a one to two week period.