NEW YORK, May 18, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Camp Bow Wow, the nation's largest pet services company, announces today the launch of its "Furry Fitness Challenge," a nationwide call to action for owners and pets to lead a healthier lifestyle. As 34% of Americans are clinically obese, this phenomenon is now affecting entire families – including their pets. With 44% of dogs and 57% of cats (84 million animals) obese or overweight in the United States, Camp Bow Wow has created this interactive program where the pet and owner that lose the most combined percentage of weight between June 11, 2011 and August 6, 2011 will receive 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.
By entering the "Furry Fitness Challenge," pet owners will have the ability to keep a diary on their personal contestant webpage, post photos, videos and enter the weight of both human and their dog or cat on a continuous basis. This interactive community of pet lovers will receive 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. Only the first and last weigh-ins are official and all weigh-ins in between are for fun and at the discretion of the entrant to create a competitive environment.
Dr. Landini will be providing entrants with tips on working out with pets, animal obesity facts, food suggestions, links to pertinent articles and more. He and his staff will be on hand for the site's "Ask the Vet" section, where contestants can write in with questions relating to their pet's weight.
"As pet obesity is a growing problem in America, I joined forces with Camp Bow Wow in order to help address this issue and work towards providing a solution," said Dr. Landini. "The Furry Fitness Challenge will help inspire weight loss in both humans and animals, which will hopefully create long term lifestyle changes."
Dr. Michael A. Snyder, a nationally recognized weight loss surgeon, founder of popular food line Fullbar and author of FULL: Life Without Dieting, will provide tips, tools and insights to contest participants. His company, Fullbar (fullbar.com) will also provide online resources for exercise and meal planning. Dr. Snyder will be available to answer personal questions from all contest participants through the "Ask the Doctor" section of the website.
"The Furry Fitness Challenge is a great means for people to take a new track towards their weight loss goals, which is why I joined Camp Bow Wow for this exciting initiative," said Dr. Michael Snyder. "I look forward to helping people take control of the way they approach food and giving participants reasonable tools to help them succeed and live a full life."
To coincide with the launch of the 'Furry Fitness Challenge," all franchises will be hosting events for owners and their pets on June 11, 2011. At most locations, representatives will be on hand from local gyms and Veterinary clinics, providing information on health and fitness tips for pets and owners.
Camp Bow Wow will also be sending out free Flip Video Cameras to 30 participants, making it entertaining and interactive to track workouts and weight loss efforts through videos that will be shared on the "Furry Fitness Challenge" website.
Also contributing to the "Furry Fitness Challenge" is FetchDog, Camp Bow Wow's exclusive partner for sturdy, practical and stylish pet products. FetchDog is an online resource for celebrating life with dogs...whether at home, on the road, in the park or backyard. From cozy bedding and safety gates to collars, leashes and the latest "must chew" toy, each product meets high standards for quality and design. FetchDog will be contributing to the grand prize, by providing the winner with $150 in products and will also provide a variety of prizes to the top 25 runners-up.
"Millions of Americans struggle with obesity, and it's not surprising that this unhealthy trend has made a significant impact on a large percentage of family pets as well," said Heidi Ganahl, CEO and founder of Camp Bow Wow. "Simply introducing play and exercise back into a pet's daily routine, as we do with our 'all day play' environment at Camp Bow Wow and our dog walking services at Home Buddies, as well as adjusting diet, have shown to improve socialization and overall physical and mental health for our pets. We hope that this initiative will encourage owners to not only begin to lead healthier lifestyles for themselves, but also for their furry friends."
To sign up for the "Furry Fitness Challenge," please visit a Camp Bow Wow or Home Buddies location near you on June 11, 2011, or check the website for your local franchise. Contestants will have up to one week to enter the competition, which closes for entries on June 17, 2011.
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SOURCE Camp Bow Wow