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Paw's Corner by Sam Mazzotta
DEAR PAW’S CORNER: My Labrador-mix, Seeker, has always been a pretty big guy. But lately he’s turned into a very round dog. If I don’t feed him throughout the day, he sits beside his bowl and howls — making it impossible for me to work at my desk. What can I do to calm him down and help him lose weight? — Jim G., Quincy, Massachusetts
DEAR JIM: It’s difficult to help overweight pets lose those extra pounds, and it’s clear that Seeker has no qualms about complaining about it!
Since you’re working from home, one way to mitigate the howling is to implement a divert-and-reward system to take his mind off his empty bowl. In essence, keep Seeker away from the kitchen and as busy as your schedule allows.
immediately after his breakfast, close off the kitchen. Use a baby gate or shut the door, and hide the food bowl out of sight. Take Seeker out-side for a short walk to burn off extra energy and a few calories. If you’re in a high-rise apartment or another situ-ation where going outside frequently is more difficult, opt for a five-minute training and play session instead.
While you’re working, Seeker should be separated from the kitch-en — either in a closed-off room or with you in your office (but in his own corner) — and given plenty of toys to chew on. Spend time with Seeker on each break from work. Play, work on basic obedience, or just hang out. Once you’re finished with work for the day, take Seeker out for a long walk before giving him dinner.
Stick with the diet prescribed by the vet. Be patient but consistent with Seeker to change his behavior. He can and will lose the weight, because you care about him!
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© 2023 King Features Synd., Inc.
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