Skip to Main Content
Have library access? Log in through your library
No Cover Image

Walk a Hound, Lose a Pound: How You and Your Dog Can Lose Weight, Stay Fit, and Have Fun Together

Foreword by Marty Becker
  • Cite this Item
  • Book Info
    Walk a Hound, Lose a Pound
    Book Description:

    A dog is an ideal workout partner: always supportive, happy to go for a walk, and never judgmental. When people and dogs exercise together, fitness and health happen on both ends of the leash. As the obesity epidemic spreads, 70 percent of Americans and 50 percent of dogs are overweight or obese, resulting in staggering health care costs and suffering. The causes, consequences, and treatment for the overweight and obese are strikingly similar in people and dogs. Walk a Hound, Lose a Pound, written by an expert veterinary surgeon and leading nurse researcher, helps you move from a food-centered relationship with dogs to an exercise-centered relationship. This volume is designed for dog lovers, dog owners, and families. Based on the latest scientific findings, it will also help professionals (including physicians, veterinarians, and physical therapists) fight obesity and promote fitness in both people and pets. Never has there been a more compelling time for innovative approaches to increasing physical activity, reforming sedentary lifestyles, and enhancing fitness. Walk a Hound, Lose a Pound provides specific strategies for people and dogs to exercise together, lose weight together, and have fun in the process.

    eISBN: 978-1-61249-198-1
    Subjects: Public Health, Health Sciences

Table of Contents

  1. Foreword
    (pp. vii-viii)
    Marty Becker

    “Arf, arf, let’s go for a walk. Now!” If dogs could tell us what they want, we would be sure to hear this. In the wake of a terrible obesity epidemic in dogs and their people, we need to listen to our dogs and get busy walking them. Dogs don’t like being “born retired.” They have a natural inclination to get the exercise they need. If we only follow their lead, we can all be healthier and happier. This exciting new book uses research evidence to take a detailed look at the newly recognized phenomenon of dog walking as a...

  2. Preface Walking toward health
    (pp. ix-x)
  3. 1 Dog walking, the ideal activity for fitness and weight loss
    (pp. 1-16)

    You can build upon the love you share with your dog to reach a greater goal: to lose weight or stay fit. If either of you needs to lose weight or find a good way to stay in shape, walking together is an ideal solution. Because dogs and their people have similar needs for fitness and a commitment to each other, walking is a fun, fulfilling way to get exercise for both. And because walking a dog doesn’t feel like exercising, it is easy to make this activity a part of your daily routine, for a lifetime of good health...

  4. 2 Know the health numbers for you and your dog
    (pp. 17-42)

    How does your weight compare with the average? How do you know if your dog is overweight? It is important to determine what condition you and your dog are in before starting a new regimen. This chapter examines which factors influence your health and your dog’s and the ability of both of you to start a walking plan.

    Below is information to help you assess what risk factors you and your pet have. The most important indicators of your health, apart from your body weight, are your waist measurement, body mass index, cholesterol profile, and blood pressure.

    It is important...

  5. 3 Why getting fit is so important for you and your dog
    (pp. 43-62)

    There are many health issues related to excess weight for both you and your dog, some of which are very serious. This chapter outlines the problems you or your dog may face from excess weight, poor nutrition, or lack of exercise. The good news is that even moderate lifestyle changes can significantly reduce the risk or severity of many diseases. And a gentle, low-impact activity like dog walking is one of the most enjoyable ways to start making these changes.

    If you or your dog suffer from joint pain, walking will increase muscle strength around the joints, giving them extra...

  6. 4 Dog walking, step by step
    (pp. 63-88)

    Whether you are a teenager, an adult, or a new or future mom, you will find information tailored to the needs of you and your dog in this chapter. We will also go over some dangers you should know about when walking to protect yourself and your dog as well as some simple precautions to take.

    The Center for Disease Control recommends that all adults participate in 30 minutes of moderate intensity physical activity (such as brisk walking) each weekday. An easy rule of thumb is that you should be active enough to break a sweat. Your exercise can be...

  7. 5 Outfitting for fitness
    (pp. 89-98)

    You can enjoy dog walking in all seasons if you have the proper clothing and equipment to master the elements. This chapter reviews equipment that you may want to consider investing in to optimize your walking. The equipment is for humans and dogs, so you can select which is best for you and your canine walking buddy given the climate that you are walking in. Some gear is essential, so the discussion is categorized according to “must have” or “nice to have.”

    Before beginning any walking plan, your dog should see a veterinarian and you should see your primary health...

  8. 6 Hate walking? Here are other great activities with your dog
    (pp. 99-110)

    What can you do if you hate plain walking? There are many other ways to exercise with your dog. Let’s discuss a few fun activities that will get you and your dog exercising together. Check out the list below, “Sixteen fun activities to do with a dog,” to find one that you and your dog can enjoy. The activities are grouped by intensity, from low impact to more intense. All can be done with your own dog or a loaner dog, such as a friend’s or neighbor’s dog or one from a local animal shelter.

    If your concern is that...

  9. 7 Get help from the pros
    (pp. 111-130)

    As in many other endeavors, you are much more likely to reach valuable exercise goals if you have a support system. It is helpful to have a friend or a group that can talk over your goals and progress with you. Luckily, there are many ways to find help, live or online.

    It is important to understand that a lifestyle change, and not a diet or exercise binge, can make the strongest improvement in your health. It is immensely better for you to commit to changing your lifestyle—not to just losing weight for an event, or eating some healthy...

  10. 8 Start something big!
    (pp. 131-146)

    While dog walking can be very rewarding for individuals and their dogs, it can also be fun and beneficial as a group activity. In this chapter, we describe how to create a walking group where both people and dogs can have fun, lose weight, or stay fit. And dogs are the social lubricant that makes it all possible.

    As with any form of exercise, dog walking relies on commitment in order to become part of your life. When you adopt a dog, you commit to giving it a healthy, happy life. Your dog needs exercise. You do too. So in...

  11. 9 Create new patterns
    (pp. 147-150)

    In this book, we have provided scientific evidence that dog walking can promote health in people and dogs, recommendations for healthy and happy dog walking, and ideas for those who want to implement dog walking on a community level.

    Hopefully we have convinced you that by dog walking, you and your dog can reap many benefits. All that is needed to start and maintain a dog-walking activity is a little ingenuity and the desire to do it! By consciously deciding to get off of the sofa, to dog walk, you are making a commitment to your health, your dog’s health,...