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30 Adorable Good Boys And Girls That Lost Weight (Interview)
The pet obesity crisis is causing untold harm to dogs everywhere. In the United States alone, the majority of dogs are overweight or obese. 55.8 percent according to the newest data, in fact.
30 Adorable Good Boys And Girls That Lost Weight (Interview)
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The pet obesity crisis is causing untold harm to dogs everywhere. In the United States alone, the majority of household dogs are overweight or obese. 55.8 percent according to the newest data, in fact. Pudgy dogs aren’t happy dogs. They have more health problems and their quality of life drops considerably. So losing a bit of puppy fat is a good thing for your canine.

Bored Panda has collected some of the very best before and after photos showing how obese dogs transformed into magnificent, healthy, and happy best boys and girls. All with dedication and help from their caring owners and vets. Scroll down, upvote your fave pics, and share photos of your own doggos in the comments, dear Pandas!

Dr. Ernie Ward, founder of the Association for Pet Obesity Prevention, told Bored Panda that the overwhelming veterinary medical consensus is that obesity is the number one health threat to dogs, as well as cats. “Dogs suffering from obesity have a much greater risk of developing arthritis, high blood pressure, diabetes, and cancer. Studies also show that dogs with obesity live about 2.5 years less than those at a healthy weight.” Scroll down for our full interview about dog health, obesity, and fitness with Dr. Ward. Also read on for our in-depth talk about obesity-related illnesses, exercise, and how to tell if your dog is overweight with the People's Dispensary for Sick Animals (PDSA), the UK’s leading vet charity.

When you’re done looking through this magnificent list of fit woofs, have a gander at our previous post about how mega-chonky cats turned lean and floofy (there’s plenty of valuable info and two expert interviews about feline health if you want your cat to get fit there, too!).

“More recent research proves that overweight or dogs with obesity have a lower quality of life, as reported by their pet parents. To put it bluntly, the fact is that dogs with obesity aren't able to live and enjoy their best lives, and we must do better,” Dr. Ward went straight to the point.

“When people ask me if it's better for a dog or cat to have obesity, I tell them ‘neither.’ Obesity is a disease and, as a veterinarian, I swore an oath to prevent animal disease and suffering. My goal is to prevent pet obesity and I've spent the last twenty years researching and teaching nutrition and weight loss methods to committed veterinary professionals and concerned pet parents.”

According to Dr. Ward, dogs and humans are actually very similar when it comes to their weight loss and health journeys. We’re both omnivores; we both use similar metabolic energy sources; we both benefit from aerobic activities—like walking.

“For dogs and humans, the weight-loss equation is about 60% to 70% diet and 30% to 40% physical activity. For cats, a species with different physiology and metabolism, it's about 90% diet and only 10% exercise.”

The pet health expert continued: “The first step toward a healthier weight for your dog is to schedule an appointment with your veterinarian. They will first determine your dog's Body Condition Score (BCS), establish target weight loss goals and ideal weight, and calculate the number of calories you should feed each day.”

However, some canines will require special therapeutic diets. While others simply need to reduce their caloric intake.

“Your veterinarian will also make sure there isn't an underlying medical condition or disease causing the weight gain and that it's safe to begin an exercise program. In general terms, a dog (and their pet parent) needs about 30 minutes of aerobic activity each day.”

Walking is the best way to get this exercise. It’s easy. It’s quick. It’s efficient and accessible to nearly everyone. “I prefer it to most other exercises because that's what dogs were designed to do best and most naturally. Plus, it's free! When walking, be sure to use a walking harness and not a neck or choke collar to prevent injury to the trachea or windpipe region of the throat and neck,” Dr. Ward added.

The professional added that dogs can safely lose from 3% to 5% of their body mass each month. As long as they’re on a vet-supervised weight loss program. “Younger and more active dogs may lose a little more, depending on the amount of exercise the pet parent can provide. The most important thing to do is to monitor the weight each month. If your dog isn't losing the appropriate amount of weight in three months, you need to change the strategy.”

He revealed that he’s seen “too many” dogs that haven’t lost an ounce of weight while following the exact same exercise regimen and eating the same food for months on end.

“Weight loss is a dynamic and adaptive process, and dog parents must constantly evaluate what's working or not. The great news is that, unlike cats, most dogs can reach their target weight within six to nine months. Cats can only lose about a half-pound per month, meaning losing four pounds will take about eight months if all goes well.”

Though it might take a while, getting your pet to a healthy weight is always worth the effort. Dr. Ward reiterated that dogs (and cats, too) who are lean end up living longer, have fewer diseases, and enjoy life more.

“That's my ultimate goal: to help pets and the people who love them live longer, happier, more fulfilling lives. And that begins with a nutritious diet, adequate exercise, and healthy body condition.”

The PDSA team confirmed that overweight and obese dogs can have a reduced lifespan and have a greater risk of contracting diseases like cancer, getting injured, and having trouble breathing.

“It’s not just different breeds that need different amounts of exercise. Dogs will have changed exercise needs based on their age and temperament too. As a general rule, adult dogs should have at least 30 minutes of walking a day but many dogs will prefer and need more. Some dogs will want to exercise for in excess of 2 hours,” the PDSA team told us.

“It’s a good idea to consider if your dog might prefer several, shorter walks spread throughout the day. And if you’re not sure how much is too much, try to let your dog take the lead. Give them the option to sniff, run around, chose which route to take and if they don’t want to go home at the end, maybe consider going a bit further. And remember, it’s not just walking that can give your dog exercise, playing games, using puzzle feeders, or training your dog will help keep their minds and bodies active.”

According to the PDSA, here’s how you can check to see if your dog is overweight:

“The best way to tell if your dog is overweight is to look at their body shape or body condition score.

  • Look at your dog from the side and from above. They should have a smooth, tucked-in waist.
  • Feel under your dog’s tummy. It should go in, not bulge out.
  • Feel along your dog’s side and back. You should be able to feel your dog’s ribs, spine, and hipbones quite easily but they shouldn’t stick out.
  • Feel the base of your dog’s tail. There shouldn’t be any build-up of fat where the tail meets your dog’s back.
  • Once you’ve decided if your dog is the ideal shape, you can then use their weight to help you keep track and decide if they need to gain or lose.”

According to the Association for Pet Obesity Prevention, around 100 million dogs and cats are considered to be overweight or obese. That’s a 25 percent increase over the last 5 years.

Dr. Justin Shmalberg, service chief of integrative medicine at the University of Florida’s College of Veterinary Medicine in Gainesville, told The New York Times that many pet owners aren’t concerned about the animals gaining a little bit of weight.

“In part, it’s an issue of perception. Generally, the public is more tolerant of obese animals than they are of thin ones. There’s not as much stigma with animals being overweight as with people.”

No matter how ‘cute’ chonky dogs might look, it’s just not worth cutting their life short and racking up the vet bills. High blood pressure, diabetes, arthritis, diseased organs, increased risk of cancer—all of these things affect overweight dogs that have haphazard diets and don’t get enough movement.

Even moderately overweight doggos live shorter lives. If dogs are supposed to be our best friends, we owe it to them to help them slim down, feel fitter, and live longer. With the help of expert vets’ advice, of course. 

Comments (28)
madcow 3417
Please be patient with you pet's weight loss. If you cut half their food all at once they may get sick and die. Cut no more than 5% of their food at a time, then wait a week and see if their weight goes down. If it does, stay at this quantity until their weight levels off again. Only then consider reducing another 5%. It took a year to take my cat from 18 lbs to 12 lbs. In the first month I stopped the weight gain and got a handle on the quantities involved. This let her get used to a steady-weight diet before any attempt at weight reduction.
LC Greenwood
All these amazing dogs and humans rescuing each other and making lives better makes my heart smile!
Tom Fish
This is awesome!
Pretty Pangolin
Great work by the doggos and their humans. So many of the "before" pictures are really disturbing - they have that fixed, thousand-mile stare. You can tell they can barely breathe. The "after" photos are just great - they look like they're posing for a dog breed calendar!
Béla Leveli
Let's see another series with adorable fat people lost weight!
Geoffrey Holland
Way2go humans.
somnomania
i'm so proud of all of these dogs and their owners!
Ula
Poor sick doggos...
mermaidgirl960
A lot of people are saying this is the result of abuse and while it can be, sometimes people can't take care of dogs or it's hard to control their weight. My dogs were rescues and were pretty overweight but we've definitely made them more healthier. My dachshund still has a bit of chub and my bulldog will never not be chonky but he's on a healthy diet. I hope everyone else can help their doggos lose weight.
Abinico Arts
Grain based kibble is the worst food you could feed your dog kids. Best food is raw meat (turkey is great) with some blenderized fresh veggies (carrot, spinach especially good) with some supplements (see nuvet.com) - weight loss is normal with this diet.
Mark Kent
You guys are so fucking gullible.
Elaine Mattingly
I am glad I learned but this is was very sad.
Muriel Gillespie
When I was grooming I had quite a few obese dogs coming in. Parents were lovely people who adored their dog. TOO MUCH!!!! They just didn't t realize they were slowly killing their dog!! Working with them and sometimes having to be tough with them you could get them to see they were putting huge strain on their pets heart, kidneys,joints and other organs and it was acrylics form of cruelty having an obese pet.
Jovy Jergens
Inspiring!
Jo
They make it looks so easy!
Gina Babe
My dog had amazing transformation too, unknowingly he had hypothyroidism. We put him on meds and he's a whole new dog!
MagNat
Scrolling through the whole page and leaving upvotes under every photo because all of those good boys and girls deserve recognition.
lara
The best and easiest way to get a dog to lose weight is substitute half their dry food with green beans. I feed my dogs twice a day. They were getting two cups at each meal. They got fat. I reduced their dry to one cup and one can of green beans [plus liquid] they loved it, ate it and lost weight, slowly but steadily. Vet says that is the easiest way to get weight off a dog, half dog food and half green beans and ABSOLUTELY NO PEOPLE FOOD. No bread, no cheese, no apples, no carrots, no meat, NO FAT, nothing but a little canned chicken for flavor [about one teaspoon], one cup dry and one can of green beans.
Marvaree Bailey
Back from the brink of death
PhotoJenic12
That is more log -than dog!
madcow 3417
This comment has been deleted.
Gëë Bëë
Ok, ok, ok.......Stop saying this is animal abuse. The owners that may have overfed these doggos have done it through love. It was wrong......but overfeeding was only done with affection not to purposefully cause harm.
CbusResident
Feminists like Lindy West and Kelli Jean Drinkwater would point out that your pets need fat acceptance! Quit showing off your thin-pet-privilege shitlords!
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