NEW YORK, Aug. 15, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Camp Bow Wow, the nation's largest pet services company, announces today the winning pet/owner duo of its "Fitness Challenge," a nationwide call to action for owners and pets to lead a healthier lifestyle. Janelle Ruth and Charlie, a owner/pet duo from Clarkston, MI, has been named the winner of the contest, after losing 14.02% combined body weight (18.5 lbs – Janelle, 8 lbs – Charlie) and will be the recipient of a full-year's worth of Camp Bow Wow, a free year subscription from Fido Friendly magazine, $150 to FetchDog.com and a free year of dog food from Nulo.
Camp Bow Wow created the interactive program as 34% of Americans are clinically obese, affecting entire families – including their pets, with 44% of dogs and 57% of cats (84 million animals) obese or overweight in the United States. From June 11, 2011 to August 6, 2011, pet/owner duos competed to lose the most combined percentage of weight for a grand prize of one full year of services at a Camp Bow Wow or Home Buddies location of choice, valued at $3,000, plus other great prizes from partners.
"I am so thrilled to have begun my weight-loss journey with the assistance of Camp Bow Wow's 'Fitness Challenge,'" says Janelle Ruth. "Getting in shape with my pet has allowed us both to begin the process within a supportive interactive group of participants. As we continue our journey to lead a healthier lifestyle, Charlie and I will maintain the lifestyle changes that we adopted and reference the tips we learned throughout the Challenge."
By entering "Camp Bow Wow's Fitness Challenge," pet owners utilized the designated microsite to keep an online diary housed on their personal contestant webpage, post photos and videos and enter the weight of both human and their dog or cat on a continuous basis. This interactive community of pet lovers received online guidance from a panel of experts, including Veterinarian Dr. Derrick Landini, DVM and general surgeon and weight-loss specialist, Dr. Michael Snyder, as well as encouraging emails from Camp Bow Wow's corporate team with workout tips and reminders to enter current weights for themselves and their pets.
Dr. Landini provided entrants with tips on working out with pets, animal obesity facts, food suggestions, links to pertinent articles and more. He and his staff were available for the site's "Ask the Vet" section, where contestants asked questions relating to their pet's weight.
"It was a great opportunity to serve as a resource for contestants in an effort to combat the growing problem of pet obesity within America," said Dr. Landini. "It was exciting to watch as the 'Fitness Challenge' inspired weight loss in both humans and animals, which seem to have created long-term lifestyle changes for participants."
Dr. Michael A. Snyder, a nationally recognized weight loss surgeon, founder of popular food line Fullbar and author of FULL: Life Without Dieting, provided contestants with tips, tools and insights. His company, Fullbar (fullbar.com) also provided online resources for exercise and meal planning. Dr. Snyder was available to answer personal questions from all contest participants through the "Ask the Doctor" section of the website.
"Working closely with the Challenge participants, I witnessed the transformation of individuals and their pets as they tracked personal weight loss goals," said Dr. Michael Snyder. "This initiative helped pet owners take control of the way they approach food and gave participants reasonable tools to help them and their pets succeed in living a full life."
"The 'Fitness Challenge' has taught hundreds of owners the significance of simply introducing play and exercise back into a pet's daily routine," said Heidi Ganahl, CEO and founder of Camp Bow Wow. "It is wonderful to have watched this initiative unfold as Janelle and Charlie learned new ways to adjust their diet and improve Charlie's socialization, which resulted in increased overall physical and mental health. It is our pleasure to award Janelle and Charlie with Camp Bow Wow's first-ever 'Fitness Challenge' award as they carry the torch, motivating others to join them in a reinvigorated lifestyle."
SOURCE Camp Bow Wow