The Fat Dog Diet is a simple smart phone app designed to safely, effectively, and compassionately help dogs lose weight. It works by integrating research-based weight loss methods into an inexpensive mobile application designed for dog owners and their veterinarians. Check out this video to see how it works:

Why We Need The Fat Dog Diet

I designed The Fat Dog Diet iPhone app because I didn't know how else to handle the high volume of fat dogs that kept coming through the door. And it's not just my patients. In fact, well over fifty percent of pets in the US are classified as overweight or obese. As such, plenty of companion animal veterinarians — myself included — believe that excess poundage is the most significant pet health issue of our day. Indeed, it's one that’s frustrated pet owners and veterinarians alike for its dogged persistence in spite of all conventional efforts.

In part, that’s because it’s hard for veterinarians to provide individualized easy-to-follow guidelines when calorie counts on dog food and treats are so tough to find on commercial packaging. But it’s also because the quantity of food and exercise dogs require to achieve weight loss can be challenging to calculate in the context of a time-limited veterinary visit.

How It Works

Step 1: Talk to your veterinarian.

Ask your veterinarian if a weight loss plan is appropriate for your dog. If so, ask him or her to supply an ideal target weight. Specifically ask if your dog requires any special considerations or restrictions.

Step 2: Enter your dog’s information in the Add Fat Dog page.

  • Select only one predominant breed, one food type, and one treat type.
  • If your vet hasn’t recommended a target weight, use the Body Condition Score (BCS) scale to select your dog’s current body condition. The app will then calculate your dog’s target weight for you!
  • Share! By sharing you’re letting everyone know you’re a responsible dog owner. What’s more, you’re encouraging them to help their dogs lose weight too!
  • Enter your veterinarian’s email address to keep him/her in the loop.
  • Select the “Add Fat Dog” button at the bottom of the page.

Step 3: View your recommendations.

Congratulations! Your Diary page now displays a customized list of recommendations detailing the amount of food, treats, and minutes of exercise your dog needs to achieve safe and effective weight loss.

Note: The Fat Dog Diet will never recommend more than two treat servings per day. Moreover, if you select a treat that makes up more than 10% of your dog’s daily caloric intake, it won’t be included in the recommendations on the Diary page.

Step 4: Record food, treats, and exercise.

Record your food volume (listed in cups/containers or fractions thereof), treat numbers, and exercise minutes –– ideally on a daily basis, but it’s OK if you skip a few days and either re-enter everything at once or include only one entry per week or so.

Note: Messed up your entry by accident? No stress! Access the gear icon in the upper left hand side of the page where you’ll find an “Edit Entries” button. 

Step 5: Record your dog’s weight.

This is the really crucial step in The Fat Dog Diet app. Re-weighing your dog once a week is critical to your success. Until I can add this functionality to the app, why don’t you include it in your smart phone’s Saturday reminders?

Note: Don’t have a scale big enough for all four paws? Get someone strong enough to hold her up while standing on a bathroom scale. Now simply subtract the human’s weight. If your dog is too heavy just plan on an extra “happy” trip to your vet for a weekly weigh-in. (We’ll admire your dedication!)

Step 6: Chart your progress.

Enjoy observing you dog’s progress in a graphic format. Head over to the Data page where you can see what your success looks like.

Step 7: Add a new dog.

Yes, The Fat Dog App accommodates a multi-dog household. Simply access the gear icon in the upper left hand side of the page where you’ll find a “Create New Dog” button. Want to go back to working with the first dog you entered? Access the “Switch Dog” button in the same menu.