Obesity is not only a problem among American people, but also their dogs. I would like to present to you two pictures.
First up, this is Koda in September 2008 tipping (breaking?) the scales at 72 pounds and looking a lot like a stuffed sausage.
This is Koda 5 months later at a MUCH healthier 57 pounds. I still would like him to lose a few more and build up some more muscle, but that will happen with the miles of scootering i'm planning on this spring/summer.
My point here, is that 90% of Koda's transformation was caused by diet changes. Cutting him down from nearly 3 cups of food per day to 2 strict meals of 1/2 cup high quality food per day and the same amount of exercise he was getting before. Only when he was down to ~60 pounds did i start upping his exercise.
YOU CAN HAVE HEALTHY DOGS TOO! Remember that feeding your dogs table scraps can cause DEADLY pancreatic diseases (just ask your vet), overweaight dogs (like humans) have increases in joint problems at younger ages, and the the "feeding guidelines" on dog food are just a SUGGESTION.
The best way to tell if your dog is overweight is to touch him! Familiarize yourself with the Body COndition Score, or BCS (http://www.purina.com/dogs/health/bodycondition.aspx) and run your fingers along your dogs rib cage. You should be able to easily feel (but not see) the ribs without having to feel through a layer of fat.
If you have any questions, feel free to ask me (I am not a licensed vet or nutritionist, but i have done a fair share of research), or make an appointment with your vet!
Now.. if only someone could create a dog-food type diet for humans and i could limit myself to only 1 cup per day :-P :)