According to Petfinder.com the first year of ownership for a small dog will cost roughly $780, a medium sized dog $1115, and a large dog $1500. A cat is estimated to $640 in its first year. With costs like this what benefits do pet owners reap other than a hefty bill? According to the CDC pet owners reap the benefits of decreased Blood pressure, Cholesterol levels, Triglyceride levels, and Feelings of loneliness.
However the closeness that pets and owner’s share can lead to a shared obesity. The Association for Pet Obesity Prevention “APOP was founded in 2005 by veterinarian Dr. Ernie Ward, a competitive Ironman triathlete, certified personal trainer, and accredited USA Triathlon coach. A key component of APOP’s mission is to develop and promote parallel weight loss programs designed to help pet owners lose weight alongside their pets.”
APOP states that an estimated 93 million cats and dogs are overweight or obese. The APOP also charts the average caloric intake needs for cats and dogs. Cat’s 10lbs typically require 180-200 calories a day. Dogs 10lbs should have 200-275 calories a day, dogs 20lbs 325-400 calories, and dogs 50lbs 700-900 calories. In contrast the average adult female requires 2000 calories a day and the average male requires 2500 calories a day.
The North American Association for the Study of Obesity (NAASO) study The PPET Study: People and Pets Exercising Together found that the people in the study with and without pets increased their physical activity but pet owners increase their activity by 3.9 while people without pets increased their activity by 3.4 h/wk.
Lenore Thompson’s family owns three dogs all of which have been adopted or found. Hersey a Chocolate Lab, Diva a Terrier mix, and Oreo and American Cocker Spaniel. About two years ago Hersey’s veterinarian found two fat pockets on his belly known as lipomas. Lenore’s family devised a plan to help Hersey reach a healthy weight. Hersey now goes on daily walks, his food portions have been decrease, he receives fewer snacks, and his food brand changed from Old Roy to Pedigree’s weight management formula. Since Hersey’s veterinarians recommendation for him to lose weight Hersey has lost 30lbs.
Pet ownership is a special journey filled with endless companionship, veterinarian visits, grooming appointments, squeaky toys, and sloppy kisses but it comes with duty and responsibility to our furry friends and ourselves. For more information on how you and you can help your pet lose weight and increase your own fitness visit http://www.petobesityprevention.com/walking-your-dog/ .