When I decided to share my struggle–and my dog’s struggle–of losing weight, I knew that many pet owners would relate. The American Medical Association reports that 65% of U.S. adults are overweight, and the American Veterinary Medical Association estimates that more than 40% of our dogs are overweight. So, if you like me and think that exercise is a four letter word and ice cream is a perfectly acceptable breakfast, then it stands to reason that our pets will be putting on a few extra pounds along with us.

At the time I wrote my book about dieting with my dog (Update: the manuscript is complete and with my agent. Hopefully she’ll find the right publisher soon!) I’d lost 40 lbs and my spaniel Kelly (that’s her, tugging on the leash. Think she wants a walk?) lost 6 lbs. We both kept it off for more than a year. Now, however, we’re trying to deal with a few pounds rebound weight. We’re working harder than ever to get the weight off and keep it off.

Here are some
tips for getting back on track:

1. Keep track of what you’re eating. A food journal helps maintain accountability.

2. Change your exercise routine. If you’re bored with the treadmill, try pilates or a Zumba class. I just added Wii Fit to my routine.

3. Make just one change. Maybe you could drink more water or add 15 minutes to your exercise

1. Make sure you’re not back in the habit of offering table scraps.

2. Change the route that you take when walking together. New smells are exciting!

3. Make just one change. You could try a new snack (Kelly likes raw baby carrots) or add some special play time to the routine.

And don’t forget, reward yourself, and your dog, for good progress!

What about you? Do you have any (human and canine) diet tips? What are some healthy snacks you (and your dog) like to eat? And cat owners, I know some cats tend to get lethargic and pack on a few extra pounds. Do you have any tricks that help?