My dog Kelly had a big butt. Seriously. Most of her body looked in proportion but, like a lot of gals, she carried her weight in her hips, thighs and derriere. When I noticed her rear view seemed a bit wide, I also realized it was time to pay more attention to how much she was eating.

I also realized that my own unhealthy eating habits were contributing to Kelly’s weight gain. When I ate pizza, she got the pizza crusts. Why not? But my habit of sharing treats wasn’t a kindness to my dog. Not only was I putting on weight, but she was too. I finally got both of our weight in control (and wrote the hopefully-available-in-the-near-future book, Losing it with My Dog, in the process!)

Obesity in dogs is a major problem. The American Veterinary Medical Association estimated that about 40% of our pet dogs are overweight. Although it’s not too difficult to spot if Spot is chubby, Purina also has a Body Condition chart to help determine if your dog is overweight. Certain breeds tend to be more likely to put on extra weight than others; two of these breeds are cocker spaniels and dachshunds. Guess what? Kelly is a mix of cocker spaniel and dachshund!

The good news: just like with us, the solution to pet obesity is less food, more nutritious food, and exercise. I’ve worked hard to change my diet, and Kelly’s.

Here are some healthy munchies that Kelly now eats for treats:

Baby carrots or carrot coins
Green beans
Rice Cakes
Low fat cottage cheese
Quality weight management dog biscuits

Is your dog overweight? Do you have any tips?

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