A new year means a fresh start to setting and achieving our goals. This year, how about setting some achievable goals that you and your Labrador can reach together?!

its a lab thing working out  labradorEveryone talks about getting into shape this time of year following the gluttonous holidays, but wouldn’t that goal be so much easier with your four-legged friend by your side? Shedding the pounds together can make fitness fun, and can have positive health benefits for you and your Lab.

Did you know that over 50% of the nations dogs are overweight? Weight loss can reduce your Labrador’s risk of joint disease and other weight related problems and can actually lead to a longer lifespan. Exercise also alleviates boredom and therefore may help with some behavioral issues.

Having a hard time deciding where to start? First, consider consulting your vet to make sure that your Labrador is healthy enough for the exercise you have planned. You can consider jogging, swimming, walking, Frisbee/ tennis ball, or even just training new ticks (consider using veggies for treats!). Remember to start slow and work your way up as you don’t want to over-do it.

its a lab thing Bailey Eating Food labrador

Another great goal to set is eating right. Once again, this doesn’t just apply to humans. Consider talking to your vet about your Lab’s diet. You may be surprised what they have to say. Some prescription diets may allow your dog to eat more, while still reaching his/ her weight loss goals faster. You may also consider adding supplements that will fit your Labby’s specific needs or just decide to start using more healthy treats. Carrots, green beans, or apple slices anyone?

Good Dog

Finally and most importantly, we should all commit to giving our heartworm prevention monthly. Keep in mind that especially in the south, heartworms are transmitted year round, and also that these preventives don’t just prevent heartworms but also intestinal worms, which can transmit to humans. Consider setting an email or phone reminder to keep yourself up to date.


I hope that you all have a safe and healthy 2015! Happy New Year everyone!

What are some of your Goals??


Dr. Erin Hernandez Horner, DVM graduated from the University of Georgia in 2004 and then went on to obtain her DVM in 2008. She is currently an associate veterinarian at Brookhaven Animal Hospital   [line-sep]

57 Responses

    • Eva

      No one! I lost my lab 2 years ago and I am still crying.

  1. Debra Jakes

    Vet told me last week mine has to lose 7kilos to help with arthritis. Done it before, here we go again! But like me spent my life on a diet!

  2. LeAnne Clark

    Been there, done that! As a veterinary technician it is doubly embarrassing, :{ Mine got up to 126. I kept making excuses about how hard it was to exercise him because he had elbow dysplasia. Bad mom, bad mom! Put him on a diet where each meal was a measured amount and half dog food/half canned pumpkin. He got down to 86 lbs and wasn’t so hungry he tried to eat everything in sight, 🙂

  3. Peggy Moran

    Been there and oh have I done that., My Lab is 85 pounds. He always gains weight over the winter because I am not a big fan of walking in the winter. Now that summer is here he will swim off the excess weight.

  4. Susan Booth

    WELL NOW ! nothings perfect, the lab is almost but not quite, they are walking garbage disposal units. all labrador owners know this !

  5. Kathleen Cook

    One of my goals is to get in shape myself so that my black Lab (Jada) & I can go for longer walks. I have also started teaching her to jump. She loves it! I also want to go down to the park nearby so that she can go in the brook to swim.

  6. Mike Webster

    My k9 companion Brutus weighs in at about 90lbs but he doesn’t have any fat on him. He’s quite lean and spindly for a lab and he’s all muscle.

  7. Brennan Clipp

    It’s hard with these labs, they are just prone to it. Green beans are a great snack and substitute to trade out for some of their kibble. My little TubbyTugger was 82 lbs and now he’s down to 75 lbs, his perfect weight.

  8. Deanna Head McFadyen

    My vet always gets onto me he was high 80’s not sure what he is now will see tomorrow when I take him in. I think his fur weighs a ton though lol

  9. Christy Bell

    Our lab Zak is 99lbs and he is pure muscle and not an ounce of fat. We cut down his food treats etc and upped the exercise and he’s stayed the same. But he is a tall skinny lab, but the others in the litter are stocky.. Wonder if he’s big boned? Lol

  10. Susi Parker-Purdy

    Believe it or not .. One of my rotties was overweight and we cut down on her dog food by 3/4 cup and added raw apple chunks (sans seeds), raw carrot chunks and raw green beans and she now has hips!

  11. Mel Littlechild

    Never had a problem with an overweight lab regular feeding times.No extras it’s not hard on them much harder to reduce when they are overweight .Try it yourself be kind keep them lean and you will enjoy their company longer.

  12. Maxine Saunders-Anderson

    mine is a little chubby too, she has had 2 dysplasia ops and now needs her hips done, I cant feed her any less but keep getting told she’s fat. what do you do? :o( x

  13. Laurie Swistak Coombs

    I have 3 and they all tip the scales at between 85 and 90. I’m not proud of that, but my 3 before that weighed 136, 124, and 110 respectively. I feel like I am doing a lot better with these 3, but I have such a hard Time!! They love food and I love to feed them!! It’s me, I’m guilty as charged.

  14. Michala Peckover

    I love a meaty lab. Not obese but meaty, like the one in the picture above. Its one of the best sights in the entire world!!! Then again Im easily pleased and very childlike!!

  15. Andrea Ray

    Woody will not eat green beans, unfortunately. I keep little bits of chopped chicken breast for treats; our vet thought that was much better for him than a commercial treat. He doesn’t care, just so long as he’s getting a treat!

  16. Andrea Ray

    I think that is very true. My husband jokes that Woody eats better than we do. He only gets 2 cups a day but it’s very high quality – he doesn’t need as much. Cut out the corn – no need to feed a large amount.

  17. Saffron Nightshade

    Lucky me only 1 of 3 of mine is overweight, but it’s barely at all and usually goes away as it gets warmer and he spends more time playing 🙂 playing with your Lab helps with winter weight on humans too

  18. LeAnne Clark

    What’s really funny is how obsessed I am about keeping the girl I have now at a healthy weight, Sheesh, 🙂

  19. Scot Vessell

    My poor sweet Cheerio weighed in at 89 last week. She’s only 8 but has hip-dysplasia and arthritis. 🙁 Our vet says the weight contributes greatly. But the poor thing can’t excercise much and HATES diet food. (me too) Phycox is helping her hips so we are going on short walks again.

  20. Jen

    My black lab Gunner is almost 7 and is almost 120lbs. Funny thing is, is he’s a tall lab but is not food driven, but if you steam carrots he’s in love!! His breeders line is all bigger labs, but he’s starting to have hip issues and has been on medication for a year now. Anyone have any helpful tips?? Daily routine 1.3km walk/swim every morning (no joke) and double that in the evening. He gets 2 cups of food twice daily, but 1/2 the time doesn’t want to eat and it’s not that he doesn’t like it, he just doesn’t want to eat. He gets a little liver cracker in the AM and a small marrow bone in the evening. The vet isn’t sure what’s up, so we’re going to re-test his thyroid again.

  21. Mare Sterner

    I also had a Brodie , and the same thing!!! we got his weight down by feeding him lots of veges with his food. and like most labs, he loved the veges. He lost 25 lbs in about a years time

  22. Jen Lloyd

    Chesney has about 4 extra “winter pounds” we need to work off… he’s got 4 – so how come I ended up with 8!?!

  23. Penny Yost Bechtold

    Our pup weighs 113 ls. We cut out the parmasean cheese sprinkled on his food and the people food. He is not happy, but he will survive. lol

  24. Sk Atts

    We have always free fed our adult dogs ,we fill their bowls in a morning and they graze feed ,if its gone by the evening ,we fill them again .People are usually quite surprised by this as our dogs only eat when hungry and Midas is a slim but muscular 33kg(72pounds) and Tex is a slim and light framed 27kg(60pounds)

  25. Linda Chamberlain

    When we adopted Zoe, our Chocolate Lab she weighed 92 lbs. Our Vet put her on a Vet prescribed food and she lost10 lbs. that summer . She has allergies so we put her on California Natural, grain free, which is still working in spite of not walking this past winter(Vt.)

  26. Laurie Woodward

    I would also suggest carrots. My chocolate loves it when I give her a big, honkin’ carrot to chew on. Side effect: vet says her teeth are perfect and those silent but deadly stink bombs have become less frequent.