Dog weight vests primarily serve to build a dog's muscular strength and endurance. They also are used to calm highly energetic or anxious dogs by giving them an extra burden to carry while walking and training.
Weighted vests for dogs are often used as part of an overall exercise program designed to build a dog's lean muscle mass. This is important in working dogs or dogs that compete in athletic events such as weight-pulling. Weighted vests are also used to improve the health of dogs regardless of whether they compete. Overweight dogs may wear weighted vests to speed the shedding of fat.