Power walking with pets and other fit tips

Does your Labrador have love handles? Has your Persian put on an extra pound or two? Nearly 50 percent of the pet population is considered obese. That can lead to health problems like arthritis, diabetes and heart disease.

Maybe it's time to power walk with your pet. Celebrity fitness trainer Gunnar Peterson and the Alliance for Healthier Pets (a partnership between the American Veterinary Medical Association and Hill's pet food) are encouraging people and their pets to hit the “Training Room” this summer. Available at www.PetFit.com, the “Training Room” is a virtual fitness destination that features a people and pet fitness video as well as downloadable weight management tools for cats and dogs.


In Britain, one pet owner learned the fitness lesson the hard way: he was taken to court. Ronald West was convicted of neglect for letting his five-year-old Border collie Taz, balloon to 88 pounds - twice the normal weight of a dog his size. West said he had a bout of the flu and couldn't walk Taz, but a judge determined that West's behavior - doling out too many treats and not enough exercise - amounted to "killing the dog with kindness."