Walking Your Dog to Help with Weight Loss

Walking is great exercise for dogs.

Dogs today have a higher likelihood of becoming overweight than ever before. People are often busy, and it's easy to forget that dogs that are sedentary will gain too much weight just like people will. Beginning a walking routine with your dog can help her achieve healthy weight loss. Plus, it's good for you, too.

Where to Start

Before you begin a new exercise regimen for your dog, visit your veterinarian to get the go-ahead. Making sure that your canine buddy is fit and ready for weight loss will help prevent any unforeseen problems. Your veterinarian may also want to check for any medical conditions such as hypothyroidism that may be adding to your dog's weight problem.

Be sure to ask your veterinarian for recommendations on what and how much to feed your dog. Using the proper nutrition plan will ensure that your exercise efforts yield the best possible pay-off. When you visit the veterinarian, find out your dog's current weight so you will be able to track progress.

Gather Your Gear

To make sure that you and your dog are as safe and comfortable as possible during your walks, you will need the following items:

Start Slowly

If your dog hasn't had much exercise in the past, you'll want to start slowly in order to minimize the chances of injury, sore joints, and raw foot pads.

Per Dr. Marty Becker, Chief Veterinary Correspondent for the Dr. Oz Show, a good rule of thumb for walking distance when your dog is starting out is 200 yards (about 2 city blocks) per 10 pounds of body weight twice a day. Increase that distance by about 10% once a week.

Keep at It

Don't be concerned if your dog doesn't lose weight quickly: slow and steady is a healthy way to approach weight loss in humans and dogs. Just keep up with your exercise and nutrition regimen, and your dog will be healthier and happier.

For more tips on weight loss for dogs, check out this article.

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