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Help your dog drop that winter weight

American Kennel Club on

Published in Cats & Dogs News

Many of us are guilty of packing on pounds during winter, and our dogs are no exception. While a little extra weight on a human may not look like much, just a couple of additional pounds on your dog can really affect his health. Exercise not only keeps your dog physically fit but mentally fit as well.

With spring upon us, the American Kennel Club offers the following tips for safely helping your dog drop his winter weight gain.

• Check with your dog’s veterinarian before starting any new exercise routine. Have your dog “weigh in” at the vet to determine how much weight he needs to lose. You need to consider your dog’s age, health and current activity level, and a vet checkup will start your dog on the right track.

• Simply letting your dog out in the backyard doesn’t qualify as exercise. Try playing a good game of fetch with him.

• Start your new exercise regimen slowly to build up your dog’s endurance. As with humans, exercising too much, too quickly, can result in an injury to your dog.


• When you are out exercising with your dog, try to stay on grass or an earthy surface. Sharp gravel surfaces can be hard on your dog’s paws.

• Always take clean water and a portable bowl with you to offer your dog a drink when he needs it.

• Dogs can suffer from heatstroke, so if your dog begins to pant rapidly, stop exercising immediately and contact your veterinarian.

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