OK, so you purchased new running shoes, joined a gym, and are ready for a fit and healthy 2011. But while getting in shape and losing weight is an admirable New Year’s resolution for you and your family, it’s important to remember that people aren’t the only ones who might need to shed a few pounds. The number of overweight pets in America continues to rise. Nearly half (45 percent) of dogs and 58 percent of cats are overweight or obese (at least 20 percent above ideal weight), according to a recent survey of veterinarians by the Association for Pet Obesity Prevention.
Pet owners need to remember, however, that while their weight loss success rests largely in their own hands, paws don’t have the same power. If pets are to be successful at getting in better shape – and health – their owners need to intervene. Fortunately, concerned pet owners can start the New Year off on the right foot.
In 2010, Dr. Meredith Rettinger, a veterinarian with Laurel Pet Hospital in West Hollywood, Calif., supervised a group of eight overweight dogs and their owners as they participated in Project: Pet Slim Down – a 90-day weight loss journey documented online at projectpetslimdown.com. Dr. Rettinger currently is overseeing a similar 120-day journey for dogs and cats and their owners. Project: Pet Slim Down is a nationwide program from Purina Veterinary Diets that unites pet owners and veterinarians in helping pets lose weight.
To be continued….