Getting Pets in Shape

March 5, 2013 Updated Mar 5, 2013 at 1:44 PM EDT

By Jaclyn Asztalos

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March 5, 2013 Updated Mar 5, 2013 at 1:44 PM EDT

Tonawanda, N.Y. (WKBW) - It's that time of year when many pets become less active because of the cold weather.

"We see a lot dogs that have gained weight over winter because their activity at home has gone significantly down because no one wants to walk a dog on a cold winter night," Lauren Culp with Camp Bow Wow said.

That is when they pack on the pounds.

"The biggest problem is that people don't realized it is happening," Culp said.

Before the owners know it, their pet is at an unhealthy weight. According the Association for Pet Obesity Prevention, about 53 percent of dogs and 55 percent of cats are overweight.

"Overweight dogs can have diabetes, heart risk and it can still shorten their lives," Culp said.

Pat Schneider is a dog trainer. She said its about diet and exercise.

"Less calorie intake more exercise. Here at camp they are always running around and playing," Schneider said.

At Camp Bow Wow in Tonawanda, the dogs play and stay very active through the winter months. Schneider said they must keep up some this momentum at home. She also said owners should do away with giving their pets table food. Although some foods, like carrots, can be good for pets, others including chocolate, onions and garlic can be deadly. It's not only human food that is unhealthy for some animals

"Don't give your dog too many treats, the treats are what put the weight on they should measure out the food," Schneider said.

For example, a 70-pound dog should have on average two cups of food and only one adult dog treat every day. They said the healthier the pet the longer they can be part of your life.

"They aren't with us too long so you want make sure you are keeping your dog at a healthy weight," Culp said.