The obesity epidemic is a much talked about topic here in America and also in the UK. As the issue has become more prominent, television networks have continued to pump out shows about people losing weight, getting fit and living healthier lives. Viewers have responded with delight. Millions of people tune into programs like The Biggest Loser, Extreme Makeover Weight Loss Edition, I Used To Be Fat, Celebrity Fit Club and so on, and it doesn’t seem to be stopping there! Now, even pets are getting involved.
Though not televised, a group called PDSA in the UK has created a Biggest Loser-style competition for pets. They’ve taken 18 supersized dogs, cats and bunnies and put them on a six-week diet and exercise regiment. Only one can win the crown for Pet Fit Club winner 2012 by getting the healthiest and losing the most weight.
Here are the plump pooches who need to shed some pounds:
Check out the full list here and watch the below video to get a closer look at the action:
While the competition adds a fun, and maybe funny, spin to the issue, it’s actually a serious one. According to the annual PDSA Animal Wellbeing Report (PAW), 12 million pets in the United Kingdom are being fed too many fatty treats. Over a third of all dogs are overweight or obese and cats and rabbits don’t fall far behind. Like humans, overweight pets can get diabetes, arthritis, heart disease and die earlier. Though these are UK statistics, the same health risks exist for our pups in the US.
A senior veterinarian at PDSA says, “We hope projects like Pet Fit Club will encourage more pet owners to take a closer look at their own pet’s diet and exercise levels by seeking advice from their vets and using the PDSA website to learn more about what improvements can be made.”
On that note, if your pet is a little chubby or in need of some weight loss, PDSA provides great tips on how to start! Check out their free guide to keeping your pet healthy.
Lets follow these dogs and see how they do in their challenge. Good luck all!