9 Signs Your Pet Isn’t Getting Enough Exercise:

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Man's best friend is battling one of man’s worst enemies -- obesity. Up to 50% of dogs in the U.S. weigh too much. Like people, overweight dogs are at risk for health problems, from arthritis to heart disease. This is one challenge you and your pet can face together. Research suggests people who exercise with their dogs are more likely to stick to a fitness program. The key is finding activities you both enjoy.
As you start exercising with your pet, here are some things to keep in mind:
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Be sure to watch for heavy panting, pain or other signs of overexertion. If they do occur stop the activity immediately and consult a veterinarian. Pushing forward with the exercising can cause injury, especially if your pet isn't accustomed to a lot of activity. How Much Daily Exercise Does My Pet Need?
Photo provided by FlickrAlways consult your veterinarian before beginning or changing your pet’s exercise regimen.
Photo provided by FlickrWhat can exercise do for your pet?
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Tricia Montgomery battled obesity and passed her bad habits and lack of exercise on to her dog, Louie. Montgomery started exercising and lost 130 pounds — while Louie shed some doggie weight, too! This inspired her to create , a workout program for people and their pets. She recommended a series of exercises, including Rover’s reverse lunges. Is your pet too fat?
To tell if your pet is overweight, follow this scoring system used by most vets: As your pet is standing, look down at him. You should see an indentation after his ribs—the waist. As you place your hands on his rib cage and apply gentle pressure, you should be able to feel his ribs. If you can pinch an inch, your pet is not fluffy. He is fat. When a small- or medium-size animal gains even a little weight, it can have a significant impact on its health. When a 15-pound dog is 5 pounds overweight, that's the equivalent of you weighing 30% more than you should! If Sparky is really out of shape, take him to the vet for a thorough exam before you start upping his exercise regimen, says Bernadine Cruz, DVM, chair of the AVMA's Council on Communications and a companion animal veterinarian in southern California. The vet can recommend the best types of exercise to get started.Experts estimate that nearly 35% of pets today are overweight, which increases their risk for many serious conditions, such as arthritis, diabetes, breathing problems, and heart disease. Blame the pudgy pet problem on too many treats and not enough leash time. "People are stressed and pulled in so many different directions—it's a lot easier to toss a treat to your pet than to lace up your sneakers and take him for a walk or get on the floor to play with him," says Gregory S. Hammer, DVM, past president of the American Veterinary Medical Association. So we asked fitness pro and celebrity trainer Gunnar Peterson to share some of the moves he developed for , a new initiative he started to help dogs and cats get more exercise and eat healthier. Read on for surprising workout moves you'll both want to do, plus safety tips from top veterinarians. 4. Dogstacle course
This is circuit training for you and your pet.
How to: Place fitness gear throughout your backyard, as though you're creating an obstacle course (only do this in a fenced-in area). Think fitness step, bosu ball, jump rope, hula hoop, etc. Place your dog on a leash and briskly walk through the course together. At each station, stop and do a specific exercise, like modified push-ups on the step or balancing moves on the bosu ball. Some well-trained dogs may sit still while you work out, but if he doesn't, no biggie. If your pooch runs off, that's part of the fun—you'll both get a good sprint when you chase him to bring him back. Your dog will love the quality time with you and the fast-paced walking between your stations.