Get Fit with Fido

Get in shape with your pet!

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- Posted on Dec 11, 2008

A dog and its human companion go running on the beach

Dogs aren’t just your best friend. They can be your personal trainer!

According to a 2006 study of people trying to lose weight, pet owners were more active than their pooch-less counterparts. Both species need to get fit: 40 percent of dogs are overweight. Owners aren’t much better—two-thirds of Americans could shed a few pounds. To get your pet (and you) in shape:

Move!
Brisk walks will elevate your heart rates. Try interval training: speed walk for 10 minutes, slow to a regular pace for five and repeat. For more, move your dog’s bowl upstairs so he’ll have to climb to supper. Keeps you moving too.

Fetch!
Retrieving a ball is a great cardio workout for your canine. And you can jog in place while your dog’s going after the ball.

Control portions.
Dogs’ calorie needs vary greatly, just like ours. Ask your vet about the right serving size. Pet-food labels only give you a rough guideline.

Go easy on the treats.
A dog biscuit can have anywhere from 5 to 500 calories. (Check the label. Would you want someone tossing you a piece of cheesecake a half-dozen times a day?) And no table scraps!

Give affection, not food.
Reward good behavior with petting, brushing and play.

Read Peggy Frezon's success story in Doggy Diet.
 

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