Tips for Walking an Overweight Dog

Are you ready to get outside and help your dog shed some excess pounds? Here’s a quick guide to starting a new exercise routine for a mostly sedentary pet.


It’s extremely important for dogs to stay physically active. Even a small amount of extra weight can be detrimental to the health of certain breeds. If your dog is overweight but not obese, simply dedicating more time to going on walks can be beneficial.

Before beginning a new exercise program with your pet, consult your veterinarian. They’ll help ensure your pet is physically capable of the exercise and does not have any underlying health issues. They can also work with you on a plan that is tailored to your pet’s condition and needs if something more structured is required. If you’re concerned about your pet’s limited mobility, there are alternatives you can discuss with your vet, like physical therapy or special low impact exercises.

Getting started with a walking routine

Begin gradually. You probably couldn’t run a full 5k the very first time you go out for a jog, and your dog is the same! They need some time to build muscle and endurance. Consider setting a starting goal of 30 minutes of walking five days per week. If that’s too challenging for your pup, break it into shorter increments throughout the day, and start a slower pace that’s comfortable. From there, increase the duration and intensity of walks until you’ve reached the goal.

Once your dog becomes a pro at the original goal, set a new one! Pick up the pace and the length as long as your dog is up for the challenge. Your dog may even graduate to loyal running partner!

Be mindful of terrain, especially with a dog that isn’t accustomed to exercise. Hills or rough walking surfaces will make walks more difficult. You also must consider the weather – small dogs or dogs with thin coats could benefit from booties or clothing in cold temperatures, and dogs with heavy coats may require more stops for water, especially if it’s hot outside.

If you’re committed to a regular walking routine, it may be time to upgrade to a harness, which is more comfortable for your dog and easier on your muscles as you maintain control of the leash.


Here a few more creative tips for increasing your dog’s activity level:

  • Instead of rewarding good behavior with treats, use walks or playtime.
  • Encourage movement around the house by changing to location of your dog’s food, such as up or downstairs.
  • Playing fetch is also a great way to get your dog moving. Find a ball or squeaky toy they can’t resist!
  • Add play sessions into your daily schedule to make sure you set aside 20-30 minutes a day for engaging your pup.

What is “Elective” Pet Surgery?

Our team at On the Spot specializes in elective orthopedic and soft tissue surgeries. If you’re curious about the difference between elective and non-elective procedures, read on for a brief explanation.

Elective

Elective surgeries correct injuries or impairments that impede your pet’s health and/or mobility. If this course of treatment is advised, you have time to research your options and the operation itself, and can select the optimal care facility and timing.

Surgeries that are not a medical emergency but are likely to become life-threatening with time are sometimes referred to as semi-elective. You still schedule such operations, but with more urgency.

In short, with elective (and semi-elective) procedures you maintain control over the surgical care process and have time to weigh options.

Common elective surgeries for pets include:

  • TPLO (tibial-plateau-leveling osteotomy)
  • Lateral Suture Correction
  • Luxating kneecap correction
  • Hernia removal
  • Splenectomy
  • Amputations
  • Mass/tumor removal
  • Cystotomy
  • Cherry Eye Tucks
  • Spay/Neuter
  • Much more!

Elective procedures help your pup get back to a healthy, active lifestyle!⁣

Non-elective

On the opposite end of the spectrum is emergency surgery – procedures that must be performed immediately to stabilize a patient that is critically ill or injured. These surgeries are not scheduled in advance, and proximity of the hospital is often the priority.⁣ As the pet owner you have little control over the situation aside from the initial decision to seek immediate care, and acting quickly to save your pet.

Incidents like being hit by a car or ingesting something dangerous are the types of situations that call for non-elective, emergency surgery. We advise you to contact a nearby animal hospital rather than a veterinary clinic if your pet is experiencing sudden or serious injury or illness. Hospitals are often open during non-business hours, and you can call ahead to let them know what to expect when you arrive.


In a perfect world your pets would never need surgical care beyond the traditional spay or neuter procedure. Unfortunately, though, they aren’t invulnerable to physical ailments; we can only hope they don’t require emergency surgery.

For any elective needs that may arise, our skilled and compassionate surgical team will be there every step of the way!


Trustworthy vet surgery focusing on ACL, TPLO and orthopedics at highly competitive, affordable pricing compared to central Ohio animal hospitals.

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Dog ACL/CCL Repair
– TPLO Surgery
– Lateral Suture Correction
Luxating Patella Corrections
Soft Tissue Procedures

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