New Year’s Resolution to Get Fit? Your Dog Can Help!

workout dog

Mocha adds 10 pounds of resistance by sitting on mommy as she does push-ups! But walking your dog is a sure way to keep you both fit.

This time of year, a lot of people make the resolution to get fit. But instead of navigating crowded gyms with complicated equipment or struggling through workout videos at home, how about trying another way to lose weight that you’ll actually enjoy? It’s as simple as walking your dog.

Your dog needs the exercise as much as you do.

“In general, even a leisurely walk is good for your dog, both mentally and physically,” Bay Area based veterinary dermatologist Dr. Nicole Eckholm says.

That’s because many health problems can arise from sitting still.

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Free Weight-Loss Contest for Bay Area Pets

Just call it Biggest Loser: Pet Edition. One Bay Area vet clinic is launching a weight-loss contest for your dog or cat, and it’s free!

weight loss challenge

Dr. Kristina Hansson came up with the weight-loss challenge to help overweight patients like the cat pictured here.

Cornerstone Integrative Veterinary Hospital in Marin County was inspired to start this weight-loss challenge due to a startling trend in pet ownership: roughly 50 percent of our furry friends are now overweight, which is leading to a number of health issues.

“Most don’t realize their pets are overweight, they just think they are a bit chubby,” Cornerstone owner Dr. Kristina Hansson says. “But when explained all the problems associated with obesity, they tend to take it very seriously.”

To enter the contest, schedule a free consultation with the office in September, where they will assess your pet and do a weigh-in. All overweight cats and dogs are eligible and the winner will receive a one-year wellness plan valued at over $2,000.

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Overweight Pets; Fighting the Obesity Epidemic

Chances are if your pet is overweight, you don’t even know it. At least that’s what a survey by the Association for Pet Obesity Prevention (APOP) says. Roughly 45 percent of pet owners with an overweight or obese pet thought their animal was at a healthy weight.

The majority of dogs and cats in U.S. households are now overweight, with 52.5 percent of dogs and 58.3 percent of cats above their ideal weight. Dr. Brandy Vickers of Avenues Pet Hospital in San Francisco says it’s something she sees all too often.

“I would say two-thirds to four-fifths of the pets I see for regular check-ups are overweight to obese,” Dr. Vickers says.

dachshund pit bull mix

Sundown is at an ideal weight, according to the Nestle Purina weight chart. If you compare this picture to the chart below, you’ll see he matches up with the side view of the number 5 dog.

Overweight and obese animals are subject to the same diseases as humans and there has been a sharp increase in pet disease, including diabetes, hypertensions and cancer. But all these debilitating conditions are preventable by keeping your pet at a healthy weight.

You might be overwhelmed if you have an overweight pet, so we’re laying out the professional tips for getting your furry friend back in shape.

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