An estimated 54% of dogs and cats in the U.S. are overweight or obese according to the 2010 Association for Pet Obesity Prevention. Increasing daily activity and decreasing calorie-laden foods are essential to shedding unnecessary pounds and improving health, vitality and behavior. Educating pet owners about the importance of maintaining a dog’s proper weight, fitness and nutrition is a mission of Chris Rago, pet specialist and owner of Pet’s Best Friend NJ, an Oradell-based pet fitness and walking service business.
“We are sponsoring an awareness campaign and contest called Hounds Losing Pounds with the goal of educating pet owners about the importance and benefits of daily exercise and smart nutrition for their dogs,” said Chris Rago. “Pet owners of any size breed, age or health level are eligible to participate in our 30 day challenge, which runs from October 15 through November 16th. Entrants should visit the vet for a free weigh-in, a service provided by most veterinary practices, at the start and end of their participation and email Hounds@rakergoldstein.com to receive the rules of the contest. We are judging the entrants by percentage of weight lost so the playing field is level. The winning dog who loses the most percentage weight will receive a $200 gift certificate for use at PetMartUSA in Woodcliff Lake and the winning dog’s owner will receive a complimentary hour long massage from Massage Envy. The runner-up will receive $100 in vet services towards the veterinary practice of their choice.”
“Dogs can add an average of 2.5 years to their life span with proper fitness and nutrition,” said Matthew Krupnick, DVM, Englewood Animal Hospital. “Many dog owners are not aware of the need for dogs to get a brisk daily walk of at least 30 minutes nor do they realize salt, sugar and calorie-laden foods, even if given in small quantities, can cause pounds to pile on, creating joint stress. Good nutrition and daily walking is not only essential for dogs, it is a great way for pet owners to get some exercise in for themselves, contribute to the longevity of their pet and create a better behaved dog. Hounds Losing Pounds offers Bergen pet owners a means to measure how even one month alone of improved fitness and nutrition can impact their dog’s health, and hopefully it will lead to continued weight maintenance.”
For more information about Hounds Losing Pounds and the rules of the contest, go to Pet’s Best Friend NJ facebook page and click on events. An e-mail registration is required to enter the contest which includes scale readings with the pet’s name, age, breed, owner name and weight to the 10th of a pound. Winners of the contest will be notified in advance and prizes given on Saturday, November 19th.
The event page will provide “fans” with nutrition, exercise, behavior and other vital tips to keep owners enlightened and dogs on their way to optimal health.
About Pet’s Best Friend NJ
Founded in 2007, Oradell, NJ-based Pet’s Best Friend NJ, www.petsbestfriendnj.com, a division of Doggy Deuce Removal Services, offers 24/7/365 dog walking, customized fitness programs for dogs of all ages, pet sitting and vet tech visits. To reach owner Chris Rago, call (201) 663-1879.