Keep Spot Svelte

By Melaina Juntti

Between hiking, swimming, and fetching Frisbees at the beach, dogs get ample exercise all summer. But as days grow colder and shorter, their activity levels dip and their weight creeps up. Here’s how to help Spot stave off excess pounds this fall.

Engage him in active indoor games like tug-of-war, hide-and-seek, find the toy, or modified fetch: Roll a tennis ball down your staircase; have him race down to retrieve it, then back up to repeat. Shoot for 20 minutes of play per day.
Feed him in meals, once or twice daily, rather than leaving food out for his perusal. More time spent indoors plus boredom can equal excess calorie consumption.

Consider trimming his calorie intake by one-eighth to one-fourth (but only if he lives inside—outdoor dogs may need more food to stay warm and healthy in winter months).

Supplement his diet with multibeneficial omega-3 fatty acids, about 30 mg of DHA and EPA per pound of bodyweight, and 500 mg of L-carnitine, which promotes lean muscle.