As Pet Obesity Becomes a Major Health Issue, 'Spring' Back Into an Exercise Routine with Your Pet

As the nation warms, re-commit to daily physical activity with your pet to help them maintain a healthy weight

Mar 02, 2011, 14:00 ET from Petplan

PHILADELPHIA, March 2, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- As spring approaches, many Americans are restless to return outdoors, especially after a winter filled with comfort food.  Perhaps slightly heavier and less active than in autumn, humans are not the only ones for whom the winter may have had negative health consequences.  For many pets, harsh elements have forced them indoors, with only their food bowls to keep them occupied.  Yet, with the Association for Pet Obesity Prevention reporting that an estimated 45 percent of dogs (35 million) and 58% of cats (54 million) in the United States are now classified as overweight or obese, Petplan, America's top-rated pet health insurer, encourages pet parents to ensure that Fido and Fluffy receive the necessary daily exercise to help maintain a healthy weight.  

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"In recent years, obesity in pets has significantly increased to the point that five of our top insurance claims are closely linked to this health issue," says Dr. Jules Benson, Vice President of Veterinary Services for Petplan.  "Exercise, even if just a daily walk or chasing a toy, can help keep pets at a healthy weight.  When pets become overweight, serious health issues, such as diabetes, orthopedic disease and heart problems can arise.  Pet parents rarely realize the major financial effect a few extra pounds can have on veterinary care."

Petplan offers tips for pet owners re-engaging exercise to help pets achieve a healthy weight:

  • If your dog has added pounds this winter, exercise in moderation at the outset of spring to prevent serious injury.
  • If your pet should start panting heavily during exercise, be sure to let them take a break.
  • Bring water on your excursion to keep your pet hydrated.

To learn more about Petplan, please visit  


As America's top-rated pet insurance company, Petplan offers customizable policies to meet any coverage requirements and budget.  Petplan is the only insurer covering all hereditary and congenital conditions for the life of the pet – without dollar limits per condition. For information, visit or call 1-866-467-3875.

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SOURCE Petplan