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Texans Sending Overweight Pups To Doggie Boot Camp

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Fat Dog 1

NORTH TEXAS (CBSDFW.COM) – Too many treats and too few walks can equal a pudgy pooch. The growing size of dogs is a growing problem across the country. Now some pet owners are turning to doggy weight loss centers for help.

Obie the obese dachshund waddled into the national headlines a few years ago. Weighing in at 77 pounds he needed a slim down. It was so bad you could hear his bell dragging underneath his belly.

The new lean Obie is 40 pounds lighter. The wiener dog’s problem with pounds is something a lot of dogs face across North Texas.

Rose, a golden retriever, from Red Oak, recently started packing on weight. Her owner, Mary Kuterbach, said, “She has slowed down. She doesn’t play like she used to. She’s hesitant to getting in the pool.”

Kuterbach is trying to fight Rose’s weight with time at Camp Bow Wow in Duncanville.

The camp is one of a growing number of doggie fat camps. They’re places pet owners can take their dogs to lose weight. Owner Stacy Copeland said, “We offer all day play.”

Copeland is helping rose slim down with a strict diet and basic K-9 cardio. She says she sees a lot of overweight dogs because they don’t get the exercise they need. “Sometimes we’ll get a call after the first day and they say, ‘My dog won’t move. What happened?’ Well, because they’re not used to having that much activity.”

The latest study by a National Veterinary Group found 53-percent of canines are overweight or obese. Four years ago that number was 45-percent. Of that 53-percent more than half of America’s labs and golden retrievers are overweight or obese.

Dallas veterinarian Kerry Kores sees overweight dogs all the time. She says if you can’t feel your dog’s ribs or their back is totally flat it’s diet time. Kores says pet owners have innocent names for the problem. “Overweight or a little on the chunky side. Could stand to lose a few pounds. If you’re obese, you start to affect your heart, lungs and joints,” she said.

Rose’s weight had made it harder for her to hop up, but now that Rose has been “camping out” Kuterbach says, “She’s happier. Her mood has improved. It’s definitely helping her.”

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