A few weeks ago, I found myself at the national convention of the North American Veterinary Association Conference where I learned that domestic animals (aka dogs and cats) are suffering from obesity in record numbers, just like their human counterparts.
I thought this was fascinating, so I did some reading to determine if there’s a positive correlation between pet/owner body weights.
As I suspected, there isn’t a groundswell of data about the subject, but a study published in a recent issue of Obesity chronicled an experiment designed to demonstrate the effectiveness of a combined people/pet weight loss plan.
During the 12-month study, pet owners met with a registered dietitian (RD) AND a veterinarian (DVM). The RD provided helpful tips for better human nutrition and the DVM offered pet-specific advice related to diet and exercise.
The result – Both people and pets enjoyed the benefit of weight loss, by combining treatment efforts. This is because the etiology of weight gain is similar between people and their domestic animals.
So, if you’ve done everything to lose weight without success, try working out with your dog. Regular runs to the dog park or any consistent exercise with your pet might just provide the motivation you need to get in shape. Plus, your pet will reap similar benefits from exercise including a better quality of life and a decreased predisposition to disease.
This truly gives new meaning to man’s best friend.