Because embarking on a weight loss process often means a significant change in a dog’s typical nutritional and exercise habits, some may suffer adverse effects.

These can include gastrointestinal and neuromuscular symptoms, among others, which is why diets should always be altered slowly (by mixing old and new diets over a period of time) and why exercise regimens are always introduced gradually.

Over time, restrictions in calories may also lead to less than optimal nutrition unless certain cautions are observed. Protein requirements, in particular, can be significantly undercut by weight loss diets — especially for pets receiving many of the diets marketed specifically for weight management.

These issues are why everyone who uses this app is expected to discuss its usage, applicability, and implications with their veterinarian. After all, not all dogs are candidates for the kind of safe and effective weight loss program espoused here.

This app is designed for healthy adult dogs with weight loss needs. The ultimate goal is to help prevent or delay the onset of weight-related diseases and disorders and to improve a dog’s overall quality of life.

Moreover, owners should understand that it’s designed for gradual weight loss. A target weight loss of no more than 5% of body weight per month or 2% of body weight per week is expected.

The evidence-based underpinnings of this recommendation can be accessed in the Resources section of this website. They’re offered in concert with a host of nutritional sites detailing the peer-reviewed research supporting all the assumptions and algorithms included in The Fat Dog Diet app.