Evidence suggests that adipose tissue-derived adipokines induce mild inflammation and may play a role in insulin resistance associated with diabetes. The present study was designed to examine a series of adipokines and markers of inflammation in dogs before and after a successful weight loss. The study included fasting serum samples from twenty-five dogs before and after a weight-loss programme. Serum C-reactive protein (CRP) and monocyte chemoattractant protein-1 (MCP-1) were measured as indicators of chronic inflammation, while serum adipokines including total adiponectin, high-molecular-weight (HMW) adiponectin, resistin and leptin were also examined. Medians for CRP (before, 10·0 (interquartile range 5·4–15·0) μg/ml; after, 5·6 (interquartile range 3·8–7·0) μg/ml) and MCP-1 (before, 212 (interquartile range 157–288) ng/ml; after, 185 (interquartile range 143–215) ng/ml) decreased significantly after weight loss. Medians for resistin showed a mild, yet significant reduction (before, 67·1 (interquartile range 44·4–88·5) pg/ml; after, 60·5 (interquartile range 32·3–67·1) pg/ml), while leptin showed a dramatic decrease after weight loss (before, 18·9 (interquartile range 10·8–35·4) ng/ml; after, 6·6 (interquartile range 3·9–10·2) ng/ml). Serum total adiponectin and HMW adiponectin were unchanged on all analyses performed. These data suggest that weight loss can decrease chronic inflammation; however, the clinical implications of this decrease are not well elucidated in dogs. Surprisingly, there was no increase in total or HMW serum adiponectin after weight loss, as observed previously in human subjects. The lack of change in total and HMW adiponectin might explain why insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes are less prevalent in obese dogs when compared with humans and cats.