The Pumpkin Diet for Overweight Dogs

Putting Your Dog on a Diet


Keeping your dog’s weight down can be a real challenge. A dog needs a lot of exercise and most dog breeds just don’t know when to stop eating. It is important that you keep your dog at a desirable weight, because obesity can affect a dog’s health just like ours. Your dog will be more likely to develop heart disease, arthritis, or become diabetic. If he is a breed that is prone to hip problems, he'll be more likely to get them.


Don’t follow the recommendations on the bag of dog food. They usually recommend more food than your pet really needs. The guidelines that you find online may be way more food than your dogs need also. We have a Brittany and it is recommended that he gets 2 cups of dog food a day. For him that is too much and he put on a lot of weight.These dogs are hunting dogs that are bred to hunt as many as 8 hours a day. Our dog isn't getting that kind of exercise. For another dog, the 2 cups might be the right recommendation. Only you know your dog. If he appears to be putting on weight, he may need a diet.

If you know your dog needs to lose weight, slowly cut the food quantity down. Don’t do it suddenly or your dog may pick-up some scavenging habits that he did not have before.


There are dog foods available that are specially formulated for dogs that need to lose weight. Try one of these. They have less calories than the regular dog foods.


If you have an appointment with the vet for shots or something else, ask for his/her advice. Find out how much weight the dog needs to lose and make it your goal to get your dog to a healthy weight. He may have some suggestions that you haven’t thought about.

Our Brittany right after his bath
Our Brittany right after his bath

A pumpkin diet may work for your pet. You still need to feed the dog its regular dog food, but replace part of the food with canned pumpkin. It is important not to use the pumpkin pie mix, because it contains spices that your dog may not be able to tolerate. Start slowly with just a tablespoon of pumpkin for starts. Add larger amounts as time goes on until you are replacing it so the amount is about half of the pets food. This technique is often used by owners of show dogs.


Many pet treats are high in carbohydrates. You want to stay away from these. Instead, give your dog pieces of fruit and vegetables as a treat. Excellent treats are apples and oranges, green beans, carrots, and other raw vegetables. Some dogs just won’t eat fruits and vegetables and others love them. Start slowly with these treats and make sure that the dog is tolerating them with no stool problems.


When trying new foods with your dog, always start slowly. Even trying new dog food can cause a case of diarrhea. Don’t overdo the diet. You don’t want an underweight animal either. Just a few pounds can make a difference since an animal’s weight is so much lower than ours.


Be sure that the pet gets enough exercise. A favorite saying is "If your dog is fat, you aren't getting enough exercise."


Reference: Making Sense With Jo Beth Bridleman


Abby - Springer Spaniel
Abby - Springer Spaniel | Source

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Comments 8 comments

Old Poolman profile image

Old Poolman 5 years ago from Rural Arizona

Perfect timing. I just got back from the vet with three of my dogs for their shots and annual checkup. One of them is part pig and eats anything and everything. I am going to try the pumpkin thing and see how that works. Thanks for providing this information.


Barbara Kay profile image

Barbara Kay 5 years ago from USA Author

Old Poolman, Thanks for commenting. We are always having problems with one of our dogs too. He is a Brittany and when we got him they said he'd eat an entire bag of dog food if we left it out. I can believe it. If the other dog doesn't finish her food, he's right there eating it.

He's super active, but he's always on a diet.


Old Poolman profile image

Old Poolman 5 years ago from Rural Arizona

This dog is a rescue Aussie we have had for a couple years. She came to us with lots of issues due to long abuse, and seems to have overcome most of them. The remaining issue is an insatiable appetite, and she would eat 24/7 if we let her. She is currently about 20 pounds overweight and the vet says that has to come off. Like your Brittany, if the other dogs turn their head for a minute, she cleans up their dishes too.

With her new reduced rations I have to feed her separate from the other two, and keep her separated until they have finished their food. I will let you know how she likes the Pumpkin with her food.


Sally's Trove profile image

Sally's Trove 5 years ago from Southeastern Pennsylvania

The reason a dog carries too much weight is because of the owner, not the dog.

I adopted a large dog a few years ago who was grossly overweight, because in her previous home she was allowed to browse the dinner table in addition to her dog companions' left-over foods, plus the human family treated her with potato chips and bread crusts that the children didn't want, and more.

Within a year of living with me, she had lost 25 pounds with the help of good vet advice, the simple exercise of taking long walks twice a day, and no treats from the human table.

I don't know about the pumpkin, but it makes sense. The dog gets some low-calorie bulk and carbs that replace some of a high-calorie dogfood meal.

For sure, fresh veggies for treats instead of calorie-heavy biscuits are things that my dog adored. She'd go nuts for a cold fresh green bean.

Given her druthers, she'd eat anything in sight, including cloth. I realized soon after she came to me that my house had to be baby/dog proofed to keep her from chowing down on dirty laundry and even my reading glasses.

Dogs aren't children, but as an owner you need to be looking for the places they'll get into trouble, just as children do.


Barbara Kay profile image

Barbara Kay 5 years ago from USA Author

Sally, Thanks for your helpful comments.


twilanelson profile image

twilanelson 5 years ago from Carmichael, California

Our beautiful dogs do need exercise and the older they get the less they exercise and so the older our dogs are the less calories they need to take in. We never gave our dogs table or human food, We always used 1/2 dry dog food and 1/2 canned dog food for shining healthy coat and exceptional health. Although for training and showing we used cooked liver (many times the dogs would chew holes in my father's suit pockets to get to the liver).


subhajit 5 years ago

I have one Labrador and she is 3 yrs old with about 40 kgs weight. She got a joint problem also. For weight problem I am feeding her

Royal Canin Labrador junior 100 gm twice a day, but no improvement of loss of weight. Please suggest what else I can do for her.


Barbara Kay profile image

Barbara Kay 5 years ago from USA Author

subhajit, Just follow the pumpkin diet as prescribed above and the dog should lose weight.

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