Great news for dog owners!
The American Heart Association "reviewed dozens of studies, and over all it seemed clear that pet owners, especially those with dogs (the focus of most of the studies) were in better health than people without pets," states this great New York Times's article.
Awesome! Oh what's that you say?
Despite this conclusion, 68.8% of Americans and 53% of American dogs are OVERWEIGHT or OBESE (according to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention and an Association for Pet Obesity Prevention's survey)?
Even more, "about 45 percent of cat and dog owners whose pets were overweight reported in the survey that they thought their pet’s weight was normal, said Dr. Joe Bartges," in this article from Boston.com.
We are loving our pets to death!
"We can't mistake, feeding is a way for us to show love. [But] it doesnt always have to be through their stomachs that we are rewarding them or letting them know [we love them]," says Dr. Tanya Battiston. "Animals can have our affection shown in many other ways. Throw the ball. Take them for a little extra walk."
With these harsh statistics, there is not doubt that improvements can be made in our nations pet and people population. Just 30 minutes of exercise a day can lower you and your dogs risk of : certain types of cancers, osteoporosis, type 2 diabetes, depression, obesity, high blood pressure, and heart disease.
This problem even has the attention of Biggest Loser Trainer, Dolvett Quince. Here are some of his dog friendly activity ideas (consult with your doctor and veterinarian before starting any new exercise):
Take your dog to the local park
Look for some stairs to walk/run up and down
Do shuttle runs in the park
Walk with your dog
Jog with your dog
Just get outside and do something active with your dog