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Animal Watch: Keeping pets healthy during winter

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GRAND FORKS, ND (WDAZ-TV) - It's that time of year when we fight to keep off the pounds. That includes your four-legged friends, too.

Some dogs love the snow, but wintertime can restrict pets and their owners on those fun outdoor activities.

Nicole Kringstad, pet owner: “When it gets to zero, it's just in out and out of the bathroom.”

Our furry friends find these winter months difficult too. For the most part, our dogs and pets adapt well to the changing climate.

Dr. Rick Odegard, Kindness Animal Hospital: “Dogs can tolerate the cold pretty well, but when it gets bitter cold it's best to take them out in short amount of times.”

But those indoors keep our pets wanting more exercise and gaining weight.

Dr. Odegard: “Obesity is the number two problem we see in our pets, and it can become a bigger issue in the winter.”

Key tips: keeping your pets active indoors and small meal sizes.

Dr. Odegard: “Owners should cut back on food during less activity by 10-30%.”

And if pets do go outside, vets say doggie clothing isn't all that necessary if they're only out for short amounts of time.

Adam Pieplow, pet owner: “I take my dog out more in the winter time because she is a Newfoundland with a big heavy black coat.”

Kringstad: “She loves the snow, especially when it's snowing because it's like a water bowl is coming from the sky.”

A few simple steps to keep your pets from packing on the pounds this holiday season.

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