“Chubby Puppy!” – How To Keep Your Dog’s Weight In Check


fat dog


My sister in-law Katy, loves my two dogs, Dexter and Bella.  Loves them like they’re her own and visa versa. We hadn’t seen Katy in almost two months.  So when she walked in the door last week to visit, both my dogs showered her with wags and licks.  Katy reciprocated and in her usual excited voice she told them how much she had missed them.  Although both my dogs are 11 and 13 years old, Katy still calls them “puppies”.  But this time her play name for them had changed, oh so slightly.   “Look at these chubby puppies!”, she said playfully.  I however, stopped and immediately took note of the comment.  “Chubby puppies, Chubby puppies” she said again as she rubbed Bella’s tummy and patted Dexter.

Instead of saying,”hello, how are you”, my first comment to her was, “what did you just call them?”.  Katy slowly glanced up at me, smiled and started to back pedal a little.  “They look chubby in a cute way,” she replied. I paused and didn’t say anything, I just nodded my head.

Fess Up

I’m sure, depending on who you are, some would be offended if your dogs were called chubby.  And at that moment, Katy was thinking that I was one of those people. But actually, I was not offended or upset with her over the comment.  Throughout the years, I have always been conscious of my dogs’ weight and made sure they had a healthy diet and plenty of exercise.  But what was playing through my head, was a comment I had made about 7 months ago.  My Labrador, Dexter, went through a major surgery and I had promised him – if he pulls through this, I will give him extra treats.  Well, he pulled through and after he recovered, I lived up to my promise – more treats. Treats for all!

Will A Few Extra Treats Matter?

Katy and my Labrador, Dexter.
Katy and my Labrador, Dexter.

The treats were not a one time thing though and it turned into a daily habit.  Thinking that a few extra treats, or an extra spoonful for wet dog food, here and there, would not make a big difference.  But it did make a difference and I had not been aware enough to notice the changes in my two dogs.  Come to find out, Dexter had gained more than 8 lbs. from his pre-surgery weight.

My kind sister-in-law, had never intended to call me out – but, she did. And I’m very thankful for it.  I needed to hear that my dogs were “chubby”.  Ouch!  We’ve now gone back to our regular diet routine and have cut back on the extra treats and extra food.

So Here’s the Tip….

If you truly want to keep your dogs weight in check.  Find a friend who does not mind being candid with you.  For me, that is now my sister-in-law.  I’ve officially given her the role and title of “Chubby Puppy Informer”.  Of course, when you designate someone to help keep your pets weight in check, you need to be open to the criticism.  Ideally, chose a friend who you don’t see that often, because it will be easier for them to notice subtle changes in your pet’s weight.

Keep in mind, you need discuss your pet’s weight with your vet and they should advise as to what the pets ideal weight should be.  Important note… I do realize that your vet should be filling the role as your Chubby Puppy Informer.  But you’re also expecting her to give you advise on how to improve your pet’s health.  When a friend tells you that your pet is “chubby” – it will hurt a little, you’ll take notice and it will motivate you more to help get your pet to his appropriate weight.


Featured Image: iStock

WagBrag’s co-founder, Russ Boles, has a deep history in animal rescue and welfare. For the past 12 years, Russ has served in various roles with Atlanta-based animal advocacy organizations focused on rescue, training and education. In addition, Russ led a local rescue volunteer team into New Orleans immediately after Hurricane Katrina, assisting in efforts to rescue and care for stranded animals. This experience changed his life, and animal rescue and advocacy will always be a part of everything he does.