Almost everybody agrees that exercise is essential for weight loss and weight maintenance. Research in humans overwhelmingly shows that a program of just 80 minutes of moderate aerobic exercise per week is all that is necessary to maintain a healthy weight on a sensible diet.
The evidence in dogs is less convincing. Dogs exercise more efficiently than humans and burn fewer calories at slow to moderate paces. To lose or maintain weight dogs need to exercise more intensely.
Walking must be at a pace of at least 15-16 minute miles. Experiments in dogs have confirmed that such a pace is necessary to burn any significant amount of calories. This pace requires that the dog pants and the owner sweats, otherwise the exercise burns few calories.
Exercise intensity can be added to walking by climbing hills or stairs. Any elevation greater than horizontal increases the effort against gravity and will…
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