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Keep Fido Fit, Too

How to keep your pooch—and yourself—in tip-top shape

Nearly half of the U.S. pets are considered overweight. Vet Marty Becker prescribes four exercises that'll whip your buddy—and you—into shape.

Walking and Running
try to walk your dog two blocks (or 200 yards) for every 10 pounds of its body weight. then increase that by 5 percent every week until your four-legged friend works up to its aerobic capacity. If you're a runner, consider a breed that's made for endurance and long distances, like a Border collie or retriever. Always bring water to hydrate you and your pet, and look for signs of heat exhaustion. If Rover is lagging behind or panting excessively, it's time for a break.

Swimming
Think of pools, lakes, and the beach as a total-body workout for you and your pet—especially for arthritic dogs, since it's easy on their joints. Most canines can dog-paddle, but some breeds—like pugs—sink like a rock, so take things slow and see how your dog does.

Biking
Have your mutt run alongside you as you peddle. Just make sure the leash you attach to your bike frame is spring-loaded so your hound can't sprint away when he spots a hottie.

Frisbee or Fetch
Chucking a ball for Spot to fetch won't burn too many calories for you, but there are ways to make it more of a workout. While your canine is retrieving the ball or Frisbee, perform a circuit of jumping jacks, pushups, and crunches. Or after throwing a tennis ball, run in the opposite direction to a different spot—you'll get in some sprints, and your dog will get a hell of a workout.

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