Putting on extra pounds is not just for humans anymore. Your dog can easily pack on excess weight during the wintertime, and this can pose a health hazard to your pet. The frigid weather can make it very difficult for you and Fido to get the exercise needed to keep healthy and fit, and just a few extra pounds could really affect your dog’s health.

The American Kennel Club offers the following tips to help prevent seasonal weight gain for your dog.

— Keep track of your dog’s weight. Weigh your dog before winter sets in so you can see what his healthy weight is. Keep this number in mind and make sure to monitor it throughout the season.

— Portion-control your dog’s food. Cut back on your pup’s regular food prior to a big holiday meal. Depending on how much you regularly feed him, try giving him a quarter cup less and see how he does. You can also try replacing the missing food with canned string beans for about two weeks and then resume normal feeding.

— Avoid going overboard on treats. With family and friends visiting during the holidays, they may bring your dog treats. As generous as the gesture may be, treats can be loaded with calories, and since your pup isn’t getting enough exercise during the winter, those calories can add up to extra pounds. As an alternative, suggest that your guests bring the dog toys, and try to replace treats with crunchy vegetables such as baby carrots as often as possible.

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For more tips on dog ownership, visit the AKC at www.akc.org

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©2019 American Kennel Club

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