Shaping Up for the New Year

Jan 4, 2014

I am not out of shape. ROUND is a shape!
Credit Mindy Norton

Fitness programs are better when you do it with a friend.  And what better friend that that furry one who would love to spend a little more quality time with you?


A lot of folks (including me) made New Year’s resolutions this week. And like me, you may be one of those that resolved to lose weight, especially now that the Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays are past. If you look around, you might not be the only one in your household that has put on a few pounds. Your pet may have indulged in some extra treats and snacks during the holidays, too. You could be thinking that your pet didn’t really gain a lot of weight, maybe just a couple of pounds. But for a forty-pound dog, that’s a five percent increase, the equivalent of a seven or eight pound weight gain for the average human. After a few holiday seasons, the extra pounds begin to add up to some serious weight that puts a burden on your pet’s joints and back.

I read an article about a woman who went on a fitness program along with her dog. She switched to a low-cal food for her pet, and at the same time changed her own diet. She also began to exercise and found ways to involve her pet in the activity so he burned calories, too. When she was tempted to cheat by eating the wrong thing, she could see her dog looking up at her with big hopeful eyes, and her conscience would remind her that they were in it together. That kept her on the program for both herself and her best friend. Eventually, she got down to a healthier weight and so did her dog.

The owner’s dedication to her pet helped her maintain her commitment to her own fitness program. Plus, it proved to be another opportunity to strengthen the bond between them.

If you would like to help yourself and your pet to trim down, exercising together is a great way to do that. Whether you jog with your pet, ride a bike while your dog trots alongside, play with a Frisbee, or toss a catnip mouse for your cat, increased activity will help get rid of those excess pounds. And you’ll be sharing some quality time with your furry best friend. Now that’s a resolution we can all live with – for a long time, when we’re speaking of pets.