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Celebrity Trainer Gives Tips for The Dogs

Gunnar Peterson, personal trainer to stars like Jennifer Lopez, Gwen Stefani and Penelope Cruz, has probably dealt with some real characters. Lately, though, he is taking on a whole new breed. Literally.

Hill's Pet Nutrition has teamed up with multiple dog owner Gunnar Peterson to kick-off the 2007 Hill's PetFit Challenge, a weight loss program developed for cats and dogs. Gunnar says, "Many pet owners think that food equals love, but this is not the case. My dog Lennox would much rather wrestle with me than have a treat and it's a workout for both of us. The bottom line is to stop lovingly overfeeding and get out and exercise with your pets." Feeling your dog may fall on the overweight side? Then take these tips on getting him (and yourself for that matter) fit:

  • Regular walk -- Take your dog to the local park or just along the street.
  • Resistance walk -- Try to walk your dog on different surfaces like sand, shallow water, fallen leaves, snow or on a rough surface.
  • Enhanced walk -- Use obstacles when you're out walking like benches, trees, ditches and logs for your dog to jump over, crawl under or balance on.
  • Fetch -- Throwing a ball or toy is great exercise for your dog, and you can make him work harder by doing it on a hillside or stairs. Don't throw sticks, though, as they can splinter and cause injury.
  • Hide and Seek -- Hide a toy or some kibbles and let your dog find it.
  • Swimming or hydrotherapy -- Ideal for dogs with arthritis or back problems. Ask your veterinarian about hydrotherapy.
  • Obstacle courses -- Set up low hurdles (use a broom stick across two objects), tunnels (available from pet shops or use cardboard boxes) and a slalom course (objects set one yard apart) to exercise your dog.

Cats are more of a challenge, but there are tips for keeping cats trim too, so

  • Toys -- Homemade or pet shop toys help to encourage your cat to get moving.
  • “Catch the Light” -- Shine a flashlight on the floor and walls and let your cat play.
  • Boxing -- Let your cat play in a box or paper bag.
  • “Hunting” -- Put your cat's food in different places each day (including on top of tall furniture) and bring out the hunter in your cat!


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