While the most popular reason for adopting a pet is probably companionship, I’ll admit that when I brought home my pup last September I had an additional reason in mind — staying active. While Beatrice (an American/English Bulldog mix) is by no means suited for long-distance runs, walking a few miles with her each day is a great way to de-stress, enjoy the outdoors and stay healthy.
With the premiere of HBO’s Weight of the Nation last night, there has been a surge in news coverage and discussion about our country’s obesity epidemic but, as Petfinder has shared, the problem extends to our pets:
- According to the Association of Pet Obesity Prevention, more than 54% of dogs and cats are overweight in the U.S.
- In an independent Petfinder.com survey conducted in February 2012, it was revealed that 29% of people who are overweight also have overweight pets.
For this reason, Petfinder has launched Fit FurKeeps, tackling the issue of pet health and its impact on pet surrenders to shelters and rescues (trailing family moves, behavioral issues and pet expenses). The program runs through the summer and is all about educating and motivating pet parents to get healthy with their companions. You can visit Petfinder.com to:
- Check out pudgy dogs and cats in need of homes (and exercise partners)
- Learn from expert tips and videos about pet diets and exercise
- Participate in a Facebook Q&A session with Dr. Ernie Ward about how to exercise and lose weight safely with your pet on Wednesday, May 16 from 12-2pm ET
So put down the remote and and get active with your pets. And, whatever you do, don’t let them become couch potatoes (see below).