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When Doggy Needs a Diet

Land Shark? Cleo Counter Surfs Fat cat? Doughy dog? Our pets are getting fatter. When we first got Cleo, she was a little under weight. The vet told us it was likely due to the stress she had been under before and during her being surrendered to a shelter and our adoption of her. This was five years ago now. She is now clearly settled into her forever home, and gets regular meals.

Because she is our first dog and we adore her, sometimes we give her a few too many treats for every little trick or cute expression.  Last year, during her annual check up with the vet, Cleo weighed 10 lbs too heavy.  We were mortified. Fortunately after we cut back on her food, she dropped the pounds.

This alarm was our wake up call and ever since I've watched her diet more closely. However studies are showing that obesity rates are steadily increasing in our pets.

This guest post is from Peggy Frezon (Peggy's Pet Place) and she shares some great diet tips and tricks for both man and his best friend.

Peg & Kelly - Begging for Treat If your dog is overweight, you’re eating too much. This funny little saying certainly rang true for me. A few extra cookies for me…a Snausage or two for my pup Kelly. Next thing I knew, my jeans were too snug. And Kelly waddled when she walked.

If your dog is overweight too, you know how easily that can happen. Also, you probably know how to lose weight—eat less and exercise more. The same is true for our dogs. But that doesn’t make it easy. Here are a few tips that might help:

1.    Measure Your Dog’s Food -- You know how you intend to pour yourself one serving of cereal for breakfast? And then one day you add a little more and a little more, and the next thing you know you’ve got a heaping mound of Cheerios in your bowl. (It’s just one serving, right?!) The same thing can happen when we feed our dogs. The vet told me that I should feed Kelly ½ cup of quality food twice a day. Without thinking, I was scooping in 3 or 4 times that much. Now I measure her food to be sure she is getting just the right amount.

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Influence Positively Questionnaire - Andrea Arden

Andrea Arden of Animal Planet
Andrea is currently on Animal Planet's shows Underdog to Wonderdog, Dogs101, and Cats101. She was the trainer for The Pet Department, FX's Emmy nominated daily show, and appears regularly on The Today Show. Her appearances also include Live with Regis & Kelly, 20/20, Dateline NBC, The View, CBS News, CNN, Fox, PBS, Fox News, and Lifetime, as well as numerous radio shows.

In addition to currently working on a new book, she is the author of Dog Friendly Dog Training (Wiley, 2007), Train Your Dog the Lazy Way (Macmillan, 1999), and The Little Book of Dog Tricks (IDG, 2002). She has been the behavior columnist for Dog Fancy and The New York Dog magazines as well as a contributing writer for the AKC Gazette, Modern Dog and numerous other publications.

Andrea has served on the Board of Directors of the Association of Pet Dog Trainers (APDT) and currently serves on the Board of Directors of Animal Haven Shelter and Sanctuary.

Andrea is a Certified Pet Dog Trainer through the Certification Council for Pet Dog Trainers and a Certified Pet Partners Team evaluator for the Delta Society and the AKC's Canine Good Citizen (CGC) test. She is the director of Andrea Arden Dog Training, and was named the best dog trainer in New York by New York, W, Time Out and Quest magazines and the Daily News.

What is your idea of perfect happiness? A pretty perfect day for me would be waking up to go for a horseback ride, then time spent with my nephews doing something silly like miniature golf or going to an arcade. In the afternoon, I would head to Animal Haven Shelter and roll up my sleeves to help out with the animals, whether bathing them, cleaning up or helping to teach them skills that will increase their chances of adoption. The ending to a perfect day is seeing a dog or cat go home with their new family and then for me to head back to my house to snuggle with my own animals. If I had to pick just one moment, it would be sitting in a field on a sunny day watching my animals romp around.

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