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Fat Camp...For Dogs!

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MORRISTOWN, N.J. -

Humans are not the only ones trying to drop a few these days. Apparently, doggie doctors are cracking down on our canines, and insisting we crack down as well.

Welcome to doggie fat camp.

Seven-year-old Chase is working off his lunch. Next door, Bozun is running stairs. Earlier in the day, he played an intensive game of catch. The two-and-a-half-year-old golden retriever has work to do, according to his vet. The vet says he's almost 20 pounds overweight.

"My husband sneaks him food. That's really what the problem is. I like to have him in shape," says his owner.

The "battle of the bulge" is not just being fought by us humans anymore. According to the Association of Pet Obesity Prevention, nearly 55 percent of our dogs and cats are overweight or obese. And, that's spurred a growth of what some call Doggy Fat Camps.

Here at the Morris Animal Inn in Morristown, New Jersey, where Bozun works out twice a week, they prefer the term "weight-loss program" so as not to offend any of the four-legged clients.

"He have dogs that are heavy and those that are fit that come in to maintain that level," said Debora Montgomery.

Dogs run the treadmill and the stairs, but if you really want to get a dog's heart rate up, throw a ball into a heated pool. It's clearly a favorite activity among the pups, and can you blame them?

However, programs like these are pricey, and experts say that they're only worth it if pet parents uphold their end of the bargain.

"Just solving that end of the equation isn't really curing the entire problem because we still have pet parents who are giving their pets too much food and too many treats," said Dr. Ernie Ward Veterinarian & Founder of The Association of Pet Obesity Prevention.

He said the most important decision you can make about your pet's health is what you feed it.

Yogurt veggie parfait is on the snack menu at the Morris Animal Inn, but the dogs just want to keep playing. They're more concerned with chasing the ball than dropping the pounds.

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