There are approximately 90 million domesticated dogs living in the United States. Statistics show that nearly 48 million, that’s roughly 54%, of those dogs, are overweight. With that being said, if your dog is overweight, there are several simple steps that can help your dog lose weight. Through light and fun exercise, a small change in diet, and some encouragement, your dog can lose a few pounds. Thus promoting them to live a longer, healthier, and happy life. We have also created a list of the best dog foods for overweight dogs. Including dry dog food, weight dog food, and healthy snack alternatives. 

Combating Obesity in Dogs: The Best Dog Foods for Overweight Dogs

Exercises To Help Obesity in Dogs

Through light and fun exercise, a small change in diet, and some encouragement, your dog can lose a few pounds and live a longer, healthier, and happy life. Along the way, you may even lose some weight.

The first step to helping your overweight dog lose weight is exercise. Now, I don’t suggest that you take your dog to the gym or to the pool with you. Although if you own a pool that would be a perfect place for your pet to exercise. You can throw a ball in the pool and teach them to fetch it. Also, you can swim with your pet. Exercise for your dog should be light and fun.

Active Living

If your dog is particularly overweight then the exercises should start out even lighter and progressively work their way up in intensity. I wouldn’t start with a jog. More so I would start with a slow walk around your neighborhood or the park a couple of times. Also, keep in mind that the term “light exercise” is relative.

combat obesity in dogs

If it’s a bigger animal, like a Great Dane, light exercise may be walking a few miles. If it’s a smaller animal, like a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, it may just be walking your dog down the street and back. Although attempting to lose weight doesn’t sound fun, try to have fun with your dog and hopefully, your dog will have fun with you. If it seems tedious, don’t be afraid to listen to music or invite friends to walk with you. Walking is good exercise and can help you, and your dog, lose weight and maintain a healthy life.

Changes In Diet: Obesity in Dogs

It is more than likely that exercise alone will not cure your dog’s obesity. A change in diet will help with the attempt to lose weight. I don’t mean a full-blown diet, like all those diet fads that many people like to do for extreme weight loss. Instead, I recommend attempting to research brands of foods that would make healthier alternatives to your pup’s favorite current brand. If they offer a healthier choice then slowly try to switch over. Many pets don’t like change once they get used to a brand. Luckily, we have included a list of the best dog foods for overweight dogs. This includes many different options. Including their favorite flavors, so they won’t have to make a drastic change. 

The Best Dog Foods for Overweight Dogs

The healthy dog food market can be a bit tough to navigate. There are many different brands of dog foods that would make excellent choices for alternatives. Healthy dog food can come in a wet or dry form. Owners also opt to add mixes of raw meat such as chicken to their pet’s food. Raw chicken may have many health benefits for your animal. Iams offers weight loss alternatives for example. Also, if you are prone to feeding your dog treats there are many choices for diet cookies and jerky sticks.

The Best Dog Foods for Overweight Dogs: Dry Options

Healthy Dry Dog Food Options:

1. Iams Healthy Natural Chicken & Barley Recipe:

best dog foods for overweight dogs



As stated above, Iams offers many options to help your dog live a healthier lifestyle. This specific option is a dry adult dog food option. The recipe is chicken and barley. The recipe is balanced as are no artificial colors or flavors added into the mix. Chicken is the main ingredient. If your pet is allergic to soy then this option is a great choice because there is no soy. Recommended for pups that are 1 year and older.

2. Merrick Grain-Free Dry Dog Food:


best dog foods for overweight dogs



This Merrick addition is grain-free and does not contain any gluten ingredients. This will help with your dog’s digestive system. The main ingredient in this dry dog food mix is chicken! Fatty acids like Omega 3 and Omega 6 are added and will help with healthy skin as well as joints.

3. Hill’s Science Dry Dog Food:


best dog foods for overweight dogs



Hill’s Science is a go-to choice for many pet parents looking to help with the weight management of their canine(s). Adult dogs ages 1-6 would be the best candidate for this specific product although they do have many options available.  Chicken is the main flavor with omega-6 fatty acids and vitamin E added. This will help with the skin and coat.

4. Purina Beyond Grain-Free, Natural, Adult Dog Food:


best dog foods for overweight dogs



Made with Texas beef this will be a tasty choice. Grain-free ingredients, no artificial preservatives or artificial flavor will also help with the digestive system. Many flavors are available as well as multiple sizes.

5. I and Love and You Naked Essentials with Lamb and Bison:


best dog foods for overweight dogs



Lamb is the main ingredient, it is also made with, turkey meal, peas, and chicken meal. I and Love and You is a highly recommended choice for the betterment of your dog. Many dogs have digestive issues and the probiotics included in the food with help with that.

The Best Dog Foods for Overweight Dogs: Wet Options

You may prefer to feed your dog a healthy wet dog food option. Wet dog food is a viable choice if you have puppies, small dogs, or senior dogs. If you have an overall preference for a wet dog food that is fine as well.  Wet dog food can easily be mixed with raw chicken among other things to help the wellness of your pup.

1. Hill’s Science Diet Healthy Cuisine Canned Dog Food


best dog foods for overweight dogs



Adult dogs that are over the age of 7 are more susceptible to arthritis and many other joint problems. It is important to provide dog food that will help combat that. Made with roasted chicken, spinach stew, and carrots this is a tasty choice for healthy wet dog food.

2. Purina ONE Smartblend Wet Dog Food


best dog foods for overweight dogs



Purina has been a long-time favorite of many dog enthusiasts. They have multiple diet options ranging from the care of puppies up to senior dogs which will promote an active lifestyle. You may be pleased to find that this contains antioxidants to help with the immune system of your dog. Many popular flavors include beef & brown rice, chicken & brown rice, and, beef & barley.

3. I and Love and You Grain-Free Dog Food


best dog foods for overweight dogs



This canned stew option is made with grain-free ingredients. Included are sweet potatoes which are a starch which is an excellent substitution to grains. Fish oil and Omega 3 & 6 acids will help with healthy skin. Recipes include beef, turkey, chicken, and lamb.


Healthy Dog Treat Alternatives

If you are like many pet parents are the world, you can’t help but give you pet treats when they do something adorable. This can range from when they do a cool trick, learn a new command, or just because you love them so much! With that being said, dog treats and dog snacks can be fattening to your pet. You should monitor their intake but we always tend to think that one more won’t hurt. Pet snacks are small but the calories and fat can add up quickly.


The Best Dog Foods for Overweight Dogs: Healthy Dog Treat Alternatives 


1.Blue Buffalo Wilderness Trail Treats:




These crunchy grain-free biscuits will make an excellent healthy dog treat alternative. The dog biscuits come in multiple flavors including salmon and turkey. There are also soft moist options, that make excellent dog training treats. 


2. Old Mother Hubbard Crunchy Classic Natural Dog Treats:




Old Mother Hubbard has provided an excellent dog treat. Many dogs love the flavor of peanut butter so they have provided an excellent peanut-flavored choice. With these dog treats being all-natural these are an easy choice. Old Mother Hubbard Crunchy Classic Natural Dog Treats also comes in different sizes. The sizes range from a bag of a few ounces to bags that weigh as much as 20 pounds. You will never run out of these delicious treats.


3. Simply Nourish Soft Chew Dog Treats.




For those pets that love soft chew dog treats, Simply Nourish has provided a nice choice. Many dogs prefer to eat soft dog treats. With that being said, a popular choice of these healthy dog treats is the chicken and cheese flavor. Made with no corn, wheat or soy this is sure to become one of your buddies favorites.

obesity in dogs



While a simple change in diet and daily exercise may be able to help your canine friends lifestyle, you should always consult with a pet care professional. Many animals suffer from diseases that may contribute to their obesity or weight gain. Different breeds are susceptible to different illnesses as well as many common ones. In addition, you should also check with a vet to see if removing certain ingredients out of your dog’s diet may become beneficial. Obesity in dogs is a very common problem. This is why it is important to have options like the best dog foods for obesity. As well as healthy snack alternatives.