Did you know that over half of all dogs are considered overweight or obese?
Boston Terriers above their ideal weight are at a higher risk of developing health conditions such as heart and lung problems.
In this article, you will learn ten weight loss strategies so you can ensure that your Boston stays at a healthy weight so they may live a long and healthy life.
10 Weight Loss Strategies For Boston Terriers
Boston Terriers may be prone to becoming overweight. An overweight Boston may be less active and may develop more illnesses.
It is essential to keep your Boston at an ideal weight to reduce your pet’s risk of developing these conditions.
If you are concerned about your Boston’s weight, here are a few strategies to help your Boston shed a few pounds.
If your Boston is overweight, exercise may be beneficial to shed some pounds.
Consider developing healthy exercise habits for your Boston. A daily walk can help your Boston stay active and burn a few extra calories.
You may also consider playing fetch in the yard or going on a short jog with your Boston. Agility training can be another great way to keep your Boston Terrier active.
Overexerting an overweight Boston in hot weather can lead to a dangerous condition called heat stroke.
If your Boston has not exercised much and is extremely overweight, I recommend starting with a short walk early in the morning or late in the day when it is cooler outside.
Need some in-home or winter exercise ideas? Read this, 20 Winter Exercises You Can Do With Your Boston.
2. Create Portioned Meals
One way to help your Boston lose weight is to portion out their meals. Bostons that are free-fed may over eat, which can lead to excessive weight gain and obesity.
I usually recommend that adult Bostons be fed two meals per day. This ensures that they are not overeating throughout the day.
Always measure out the amount of food that you are feeding your Boston Terrier. You may realize that you are providing a lot more than you knew.
I recommend using a standard measuring cup so you know exactly how much you are feeding your Boston.
How Much Should You Feed Your Boston Terrier?
Read on the food bag to see the amount recommended for feeding your dog. If you have been feeding more than the recommended amount, then start by measuring out the recommended amount on the food bag.
If you have been feeding the recommended amount on the food bag and your Boston is still overweight, your veterinarian will be able to let you know the exact amount of food your Boston should be eating based on their weight and the type of food that they eat.
3. Weekly Weigh-Ins
When you are trying to get your Boston Terrier to lose weight, monitoring is key to ensuring that the weight loss isn’t occurring too rapidly.
Weight loss should occur gradually over several months. Weigh your Boston once per week to track your Boston’s progress in their weight loss plan.
If you find that they are losing more than a quarter of a pound a week, it would be good to speak with a veterinarian.
If you find that your Boston isn’t losing any weight, your vet may have suggestions on how to encourage weight loss.
4. Decrease The Amount Of Food Fed
Once you know EXACTLY how much you are feeding, you may consider slightly decreasing the amount of food you provide your Boston Terrier.
I usually recommend this step be done very gradually. For example, if you have been feeding your Boston 1 cup of food total per day, you may consider cutting back to 7/8 cup total per day for a month.
I also recommend speaking with your veterinarian if you would like to decrease the amount of food you are feeding because they will likely be able to give you an exact amount that will aid in weight loss for your pet.
5. Stop Feeding Unhealthy Treats
Certain treats are extremely high in calories. One of the first things you may consider when trying to help your Boston Terrier lose weight is cutting out all unhealthy treats.
On the back of the treat bag, it should say how many calories are in each treat. If you see that the calorie count per treat is more than 5 to 10 calories, this treat is probably too high in calories for your overweight pet.
One Beggin’ Strip has around 35 calories, and one Pup-Peroni has over 50 calories!
Healthy Low Calorie Treats for Boston Terriers
There are many options for feeding your Boston treats in moderation.
Training treats may be a good option as these only have around 5 calories per treat. Be sure that you are still only giving a few treats throughout the day because those calories can add up quickly.
You can also offer a piece of your dog’s regular kibble as a treat. If your Boston is very food motivated, they won’t even realize the difference.
Finally, there are a few healthy fresh fruits and vegetables that are relatively low in calories. You can try offering a baby carrot, a small piece of apple, or a few plain unsalted canned green beans as a treat for your pet.
Vegetables Boston Terriers Love (Video)
If you are trying to get some ideas of what vegetables your Boston might like, check out this video.
Over 100 Boston Terrier parents responded to this survey covering, what vegetable does your Boston Terrier love?
Fruits Boston Terriers Love (Video)
If you are trying to get some ideas of what fruits your Boston might like, check out this video.
Over 100 Boston Terrier parents responded to this survey covering, what fruits does your Boston Terrier love?
6. Get Everyone On Board With The Weight Loss Plan
If you would like your Boston Terrier to lose weight, you need to make sure everyone in the household is on board with the weight loss plan.
I often see weight loss plans fail because one person in the household insists on continuing to give their Boston too many high-calorie treats or too much food.
You must have a unanimous agreement in the house from all family members to ensure a consistent weight loss plan.
It may be a good idea to sit down as a family and talk about the weight loss plan to make sure everyone knows their role in making your Boston happy and healthy.
7. No Table Scraps!
Throw the table scraps in the trash, not in your Boston’s food bowl. Table scraps are very unhealthy for dogs and are extremely high in calories.
Human food in general is extremely fattening for dogs and is one of the main reasons why so many pets are overweight.
One hot dog can have over 200 calories, and one small piece of cheese can have over 100 calories.
Considering the total daily calorie intake for a Boston is usually around 300 to 500 calories, you can see how one hot dog can put that calorie count well over the recommended level.
8. Separate Pets While Feeding
Some food motivated Bostons will find food wherever they can get it. Many times your overweight Boston Terrier may be stealing food from another dog or cat in your household.
To solve this issue, it is always a good idea to separate your pets when they eat so that your Boston only eats the food they are supposed to.
Try feeding your pets in separate rooms and taking up the food bowls when your pets are done eating. This will make sure that your overweight Boston isn’t stealing a few extra bites of food.
9. Consult With A Veterinarian
Your veterinarian can be an excellent source of information if you are trying to help your pet lose weight.
A veterinarian will be able to calculate how many calories your overweight Boston Terrier needs to eat to lose weight. The veterinarian will also be able to determine the exact amount of food you should be feeding at each meal.
Your veterinarian can also rule out any possible health conditions that may be causing your pet to be overweight. For example, dogs with a low thyroid level will have a harder time losing weight than other dogs.
If you are interested in developing a personalized weight loss plan for your Boston Terrier, ask your veterinarian for help.
10. Try A Prescription Weight Loss Diet
If you have tried all of the suggestions above or if your Boston is extremely obese, they may benefit from a prescription weight loss diet.
There are a few different options for prescription weight-loss food, and I recommend speaking with your veterinarian to see what they recommend for your pet.
I have had the most success with placing dogs on Hill’s Prescription Metabolic Weight Management Diet. This food was specially formulated to help dogs lose weight, and dogs that were fed this food lost around 13% of their body weight in 2 months.
A prescription weight loss diet is sometimes the only way I can get a dog to lose weight, especially in obese prone pets.
Check out Hill’s Prescription Metabolic Weight Management on Amazon for reviews, cost, and purchase; Hill’s Metabolic Weight Management.
How Long Does It Take For A Boston Terrier To Lose Weight?
If you have followed all of the recommendations described above, it will likely take between 4 months to a year to get your Boston Terrier to an ideal weight.
The amount of time will depend on how overweight your dog is.
If your Boston is only a pound or two overweight, it may only take a few months to reach their ideal body weight. Alternatively, if your Boston is 10 pounds overweight, it may take over a year to reach their weight loss goals.
Consistency is the key to developing a successful weight loss plan for your Boston Terrier.
What Is The Best Dog Food For Boston Terrier Weight Loss?
If you are looking for a good over the counter weight loss food for your Boston Terrier, look for a food that has a low-calorie count per cup.
Here are a few options for low-calorie dog foods that do not require a veterinary prescription:
- Hill’s Science Diet Adult Light Small Bites (271 kcal/cup)
- Purina Pro Plan Adult Weight Management (346 kcal/cup)
If your dog is having an extremely hard time losing weight, they may benefit from a prescription veterinary diet.
These are my favorite prescription veterinary diets that have worked the best in my experience for weight loss in dogs.
There are many strategies to help your Boston Terrier lose weight, and the best way to help your Boston lose weight is by combining several different strategies.
Start by cutting the high-calorie treats, measuring out the food into two meals per day, exercising more frequently, and doing weekly weigh-ins to monitor your pet’s progress.
Finally, a prescription weight loss diet can be beneficial to help your pet lose weight.
I also recommend consulting with your veterinarian as they will be able to give you the best guidance as to how to help your Boston Terrier lose weight most safely.
If you can help your Boston lose weight, they will be more likely to lead a longer and healthier life.
Courcier EA, Thomson RM, Mellor DJ, Yam PS. An epidemiological study of environmental factors associated with canine obesity. J Small Anim Pract. 2010 Jul;51(7):362-7.
Williams, K. & Ward, E. Creating a Weight Reduction Plan for Dogs. VCA Hospitals.