Mitch is really feeling lighter on his feet. All four of them.
Not long ago, veterinarian Laurie Millward wasn't sure the extremely overweight Labrador was going to make it, so she decided to adopt him.
"He weighed 147 pounds when we took him in and he would have to rock to be able to stand," she says.
So it was time to put Mitch on a pretty strict diet and exercise plan, which included a fancy underwater canine treadmill. The water cushions his joints and provides a little extra resistance.
Moving more and cutting calories has had a huge impact on Mitch. He's down more than 60 pounds.
"As he started to lose this weight, you could see his overall demeanor change," Laurie says.
Dr. Arielle Markley, a canine rehabilitation specialist at the Ohio State University Veterinary Medical Center says partnering with your pet can make you both healthier.
"It's a great way to kind get motivated, be held accountable because your pet needs to go out for walks."
Think of the word PAWs as an acronym. P is for Plan.
"Making sure that things are being scheduled is really helpful. Scheduling even grocery store trips, of course, scheduling exercise," says Liz Weinandy, a registered dietitian with Ohio State Wexner Medical Center.
Next, A is for Active. Your pet may like to run, swim or just play fetch.
"There's even like, dog yoga and dog pilates that people can do as well," says Dr. Markley.
W is for Wellness Checks, which are important for both of you. So when you make your vet appointment, call your own doctor as well.
Finally, don't forget to celebrate and reward your success, but try swapping treats for a little extra love and attention.
Mitch, if he could talk, would tell you this all worked for him.
"When we first started him in there, he couldn't even do two minutes. And now he's up to 30 minutes and he walks against the resistance jets to make it harder. So he's rocking it now," Laurie says.
Laurie's getting stronger as well, with the goal of running her first 5K with Mitch by her side.
"The joy that running with him gives him also gives me joy, and so I feel like that is motivation alone to go out and exercise," Laurie says.
Keep in mind with overweight pets, the vet says they see orthopedic problems, knee injuries, arthritis, and then chronic illnesses like diabetes.