PORTLAND, Ore., July 11, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Calling all pet owners: it's time to weigh in on your pet's health! Do you consider your Pomeranian pleasantly plump? Does your hound have a few extra pounds to shed? If so, it may be time to call in the big dogs! Banfield Pet Hospital and celebrity fitness trainer Dolvett Quince from NBC's "The Biggest Loser," are tipping the scale on pet obesity by kicking off a campaign to help your pooch lose extra pounds through preventive care, nutrition and exercise.
Together, Banfield and Quince developed an exercise program that pet owners and their pets can do together to become active, healthy and fit! According to Banfield's State of Pet Health 2012 Report, chronic conditions such as overweight and obesity in pets have increased at an alarming rate since 2007. Since that time, overweight and obesity have increased by 37 percent in dogs and 90 percent in cats, affecting approximately 1 in 5 pets. When pets are overweight, their waistline is not the only concern – the condition is associated with other serious diseases like diabetes and arthritis, and can severely impact the overall quality of a pet's life and potentially become costly to manage. Fortunately, there are steps pet owners can take to prevent obesity and ensure their pets live happier, healthier lives.
"As a personal trainer, I am constantly motivating people to lose weight; however, my passion for fitness and nutrition doesn't stop at the gym," said fitness trainer, Dolvett Quince. "Overweight and obesity is weighing heavily on the minds of Americans and is impacting families across the country, including our four-legged friends. Leading a healthy lifestyle is just as important for our pets as it is for humans, which is why I created a program that pet owners can do with their furry friends to become more active and shed unhealthy weight!"
Quince's workout plan goes beyond just walking and running with pets. This comprehensive plan includes moves such as the "Plank Fetch," where pet owners assume a plank position, resting forearms on the ground, keeping their bodies in a straight line with their weight on their toes and forearms. While in this position, pet owners can hold out a dog toy or ball to the side, and play a game of fetch. When the dog brings the toy back, the pet owner can release from the plank position.
Another exercise developed for the workout plan is "Shuttle Runs." After picking three line markers that dogs and owners will run toward, Quince recommends that pet owners stand to one side and run these with the dog and create a fun "chase game." Participants can start by running to the first point, and run back to start; next run to the halfway mark and back to start; and last, run to the farthest point and back. This can be repeated for a total of three to five sets. As both the dog and owner build stamina, additional sets may be added.
Quince's pet workout plan will be featured on Banfield.com/fitness and put into action in his public fitness classes for pet owners and their pets in select cities across the country during July.
In addition to exercise, it is important for pet owners to understand proper pet nutrition. The right pet food can significantly enhance a pet's development and wellness. Nutritional needs can vary depending on a pet's size, breed, lifestyle, age and health status, so it is important for pet owners to take their pets to the veterinarian for routine examinations, especially before beginning a weight loss program. It's also important to remember that looks can be deceiving and monitoring a pet's weight by sight can be misleading. Therefore, regular checkups and nutritional counseling with a veterinarian will help ensure pets remain at an ideal weight and body condition.
"Just like with humans, restricting a pet's caloric intake and increasing exercise are the keys to successful weight loss, but it's not as simple as just reducing serving size," said Dr. Ari Zabell, director of client advocate support for Banfield Pet Hospital. "Because pets have specific nutritional needs, it's important to partner with your veterinarian to develop a comprehensive weight management plan. Equally important is maintaining an active lifestyle, which is why we partnered with celebrity trainer Dolvett Quince to find fun ways to get fit with our pets and strengthen the special bond we have with them."
According to Banfield's State of Pet Health 2012 Report, to keep pets at a healthy weight, treats should be limited to less than 10 percent of a pet's daily caloric requirements. It's important to remember that treats do not have to be food – consider rewarding good behavior with something a pet enjoys, such as play time or going for a long walk, which is beneficial for the pet and their waistline!
Woof Worthy Workout
Banfield Pet Hospital and celebrity trainer Dolvett Quince will host public fitness classes for pet owners and their canine friends in Los Angeles on Friday, July 12 at 7 a.m.; in Atlanta, on Saturday, July 20 at 9 a.m.; and in Minneapolis, on Saturday, July 27 at 10 a.m., to help educate pet owners on the importance of preventive care which includes regular exercise and a nutritionally balanced diet.
Pet owners are invited to participate in the fitness classes, led by Dolvett Quince, and meet with Banfield Pet Hospital veterinarians who will perform body condition testing, answer nutrition questions and provide wellness checks. Attendees will also receive a coupon for a free office visit, nutrition consultation and body condition assessment at any Banfield Pet Hospital. Pet owners can go to www.Banfield.com/fitness for locations and event details.
Pet owners who can't make the public fitness classes can visit www.Banfield.com/fitness or Banfield's Facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/banfieldpethospital for Quince's workout plan, a downloadable coupon for a free office visit and nutritional consultation at any Banfield Pet Hospital, and for tips to manage their pet's weight and nutrition.
Additionally, be sure to catch Dolvett Quince and the season premiere of "The Biggest Loser" on Tuesday, October 8 on NBC 8 p.m. ET/7 p.m. CT.
About Banfield Pet Hospital®
Founded in Portland, Ore., in 1955, Banfield is the largest general veterinary practice in the world. In 2007, Banfield joined the Mars, Inc. family of businesses, and today it is more than 830 hospitals strong in neighborhoods across the United States. More than 2,600 veterinarians at Banfield are committed to giving pets the highest quality of veterinary care. Banfield hospitals offer a full range of comprehensive medical services, computerized medical records, preventive care plans for pets and extended operating hours. Banfield Pet Hospital helps extend the lives of millions of pets each year through Optimum Wellness Plans®. For journalists seeking more information, visit banfield.com or contact the Media Hotline at 888-355-0595.
SOURCE Banfield Pet Hospital