How to help your dog lose weight

As a nation of dog lovers we can’t help but indulge our pups. But with pet obesity on the rise, a little morsel here and there soon adds up. And if we’re not careful, all those sneaky treats can lead to a podgy pooch. 

While many owners use food as a way to shower their dogs with love, it could be doing more harm than good, because overweight dogs are more prone to illnesses and don’t live as long as dogs at an ideal weight. So if you think it’s time your porky pup lost a few pounds, read on for our top tips on dog weight loss the healthy way.

How to tell if a dog is overweight

Dog body condition

All breeds have standard weight guidelines. And while this is a good place to start, every individual dog is different. Rather than the numbers on the scale, what you should really pay attention to is the amount of extra coverage on your dog’s body. To understand if your dog is under, ideal or overweight, vets often use the body condition score (BCS) test. 

The test is measured either on a 9 point or 5 point scale, and assesses your dog’s fat levels across your dog’s ribs, tummy and waist. Your dog should have an hourglass figure when viewed overhead and even breeds like bulldogs where many people believe they will be more rounded should have a waist. You should be able to feel the ribs through a little fat covering and they may even be slightly visible in places. And the tummy should tuck up from the rib cage, rather than being a straight line across. 

If your pooch is more barrel shaped and you can’t feel their ribs easily without applying a lot of pressure, then your dog is likely overweight. If you’re unsure, your vet or vet nurse will be able to help you and even show you exactly what to look for when it comes to your dog.

Health implications for overweight dogs

Not only does the lifespan of an overweight dog decrease, but it can seriously impact your pup’s quality of life. The extra weight can put added pressure on bones and joints, potentially leading to arthritis in later years. But it can also put your dog’s life at risk, contributing to breathing difficulties, heart problems and diabetes.

Top tips to reduce your dog’s weight

There are 3 key areas to consider when managing your dog’s weight loss in a healthy way. 

Dog diet food – Feeding the right diet for your individual dog is the first important step. Balanced meals packed with nutrients, slow release carbohydrates and beneficial fibre will help your dog feel fuller for longer. It’s also important to control portion sizes and feed the exact amount your dog needs to lose weight steadily, and eventually maintain a healthy weight. 

Which is why here at we can create a recipe tailored for your pup to maintain a healthy weight. And with exact portion recommendations and our adjustable portion scoop, you’ll know you’re serving the right amount of food every time. 

Diet dog food

Regular exercise – Exercising your dog every day will help burn off excess calories and keep their body healthy. Alongside the right nutrition and portion sizes, a regular exercise routine will help bring your dog’s weight down steadily and predictably. It also gives your dog something else to focus on during the day, by providing mental stimulation – dogs are a bit like humans, they get peckish when they’re bored!

Reduce your dog's weight

Limiting treats – We know it’s difficult, but cutting out treats altogether is the best approach for healthy dog weight loss. Or at the very least, limit the number of treats and offer healthier options that aren’t high in fat, sugar or calories. Raw vegetables like carrots and cucumber are a good alternative to human food or shop bought treats. Related blogManaging your dog’s weight and how to keep it under control

20 thoughts on “How to help your dog lose weight”

    • Hi Anna,

      We’d love to sort this out for you! If you could send an email to, or drop us a message on Facebook, we’ll get back to you as soon as we can.


  1. Please can you give me an idea what to do my son pays for tails every month and our Labrador has for the last few months been sticking to a very strict diet and also no treats so literally only having tails . She goes out everyday for walks but is still getting larger so any ideas what to do would be appreciated. I really hope she’s not ill but I’m going to make an appointment with our vet anyway but just wondered if you had any ideas

    • Hi Lynn, I’m sorry to hear that your dog has still been feeling hungry. Our Customer team would be happy to take a closer look and help, just pop us an email at

  2. Since using tails and cutting down drastically with treat my dog has still managed to put on weight . Can you please make any further suggestions.

    • Hi Lucille,

      I’m sorry to hear that you’re having trouble managing your dog’s weight – our Customer team would be more than happy to help here. Just send us a direct message via Facebook Messenger or email us at with your details and we can take a closer look for you.

  3. After a few months of being on weight loss food he is the heaviest I’ve ever known him 15.09kgs very worrying as he’s nearly 13 blind and only walk’s very slowly and not far.

    • Hi Jayne, we’re sorry to hear that your dog’s food hasn’t helped with his weight so far. If you’d like to try a personalised blend from, our Customer and Nutrition Team would be happy to see if we can create a blend that can help reduce his weight – just pop us an email to 🐾

  4. Hi – Since Molly has been on she appears to be putting on weight not losing weight. She has a denti stick at night, we also follow the portions recommended by tails. Slightly disappointed with the results so far.

    • Hi Kev, we’re sorry to hear that Molly’s food isn’t helping with her weight loss as we’d have expected – our Nutrition team would love to take a closer look into her blend to help with this, just pop us an email with your details to Best wishes

  5. Billie loves your recipes but is not losing weight. Also even though strictly measuring out food. An awful lot left when monthly delivery arrives. Came last week but still have quarter of last months supply left.

    • Hi Maureen, we’re sorry to hear you’ve not seen the changes you’d expect in Billie’s weight so far. Our Customer team would be happy to look into their blend to see how we can help with Billie’s weight, just pop us an email to with your details 🐾

  6. Hi I’m a bit relieved to hear other not seen any reduction in their dogs wieght ,after the first month my cockapoo molly went from 17.6 to 18.4 she has never been as heavy as that I’m going to wiegh her again hopefully today .

  7. My dog has gone up from 55kg to 57kg. Elsa likes the food and has minimal treats. She finds walks difficult due to joint problems .

    • Hi Susan, if you’d like more advice on your dogs weight, know our Customer team are here – just send us a direct message with your details and we can take a closer look into Elsa’s feeding plan with you 💙


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