AUSTIN, Texas, July 13, 2018 /PRNewswire/ -- Have you noticed how many dog owners are the spitting-image of their dog? People who fit this bill take pride in letting you know that it's no coincidence. Science and psychology support above-average evidence that dogs and owners are likely to share facial/feature resemblances.
"Beyond appearance, the increasing humanization of animals is clearly seen thru the deepening emotional/psychological bonds that people form with their pets. This trend is evidenced by the growth in spending on veterinary care, pet health insurance, dog-walking services and fresh pet foods," added David Haworth DVM/PhD and President, PetSmart Charities.
Despite society's deepening appreciation for the amazing powers of the human-animal bond, obesity in pets has reached epidemic proportions - including over half of dogs and cats, and 19% of horses. "As a significant risk to quality-of-life in animals, obesity can cause serious health conditions such as diabetes, cardiovascular disease and arthritis," added Alina Vale DVM, equine veterinarian.
Diet, Lifestyle and Behavior Promote Pet Obesity… as in Humans
"Unhealthy diets and sedentary lifestyles are reliable predictors of obesity in pets. Families who communicate love by doling-out fatty table scraps or unhealthy treats show that owner behavior is to blame," added Melissa Magnuson DVM, owner of several AAHA-certified veterinary practices.
"The obesity epidemic is compounded by the reality that many families are unaware their pet is overweight, or unwilling to see it as a problem, making the conversation difficult for veterinarians," added Sarah Wooten DVM, author/speaker/veterinarian.
Social Innovation for Reversing Pet Obesity
Leveraging a 14-year track record of success in human healthcare, CareCorrals enhance connectedness and community - modifying owner behavior in stemming pet obesity. A CareCorral is an interactive web tool, created and operated by a family - commonly used surrounding chronic health challenges in a pet. CareCorrals contain components that enhance how loved ones become/remain:
- Engaged as a supportive fabric of connectedness
- Empowered with empathy, more than just sympathy
- Part of the journey, as opposed to more of the landscape
At the center of the Johnson family's CareCorral is their Golden Retriever, "Dr. Duke" who has become obese. In March, the Johnson's noticed Duke was unable to exit the swimming pool - even while standing on the pool-steps. The family expressed surprise Duke was obese as recent trips to the veterinarian elicited only that he was a little overweight. Acknowledging their roles in Duke's weight gain, the Johnson's created a CareCorral that included their children, friends and members of their Retriever Owners Club. The family's CareCorral is functioning as a collaboration tool which they cleverly named, "Restoring Duke's Wagger."
Members record Duke's weight daily in the CareCorral's blog, along with front/side photos or a video. The CareCorral calendar is being used to coordinate a diet they found on the internet, also to schedule/track Duke's snacks - keeping them to twice-daily servings. The CareCorral blog, calendar and photo/video-sharing tools ensure Duke is staying on course with varied/scheduled walks, swims and trots alongside a bicycle - everyone being sensitive to Duke's tendency to overexert. Friends are engaged in this journey and several have created CareCorrals for their own pets - fostering an unlikely comradery and competitive spirit. Duke is now 12 pounds lighter than the day of the pool incident.
"CareCorrals are invaluable for enhancing discipline and accountability needed to counteract obesity in pets," added Mary Gardner DVM, co-founder of Lap of Love.
PrizedPals' (https://prizedpals.com) CareCorrals is a solution offered by CareFlash (https://careflash.com) LLC which offers private online social platforms for developing online communities that foster connectedness and promote holistic healing. CareFlash partners with organizations throughout the healthcare and animal care continuums - enhancing quality of care, healing, branding and community outreach.
SOURCE CareFlash LLC