Pound the Pavement
You're not the only one who needs at least thirty minutes of exercise a day. With almost half of U.S. pets overweight (dogs and cats that weigh more than 10 percent over their ideal body weight are overweight; 20 percent over and they're obese), even a brisk, twenty-minute walk a day can make a huge difference in your pet's physique and well-being.
Your pooch isn't the only one who benefits: expect to shed a few of your extra pounds, too. A 2007 study showed that both people and dogs lost weight, and kept it off, when they exercised together. Pet owners lost an average of eleven pounds (approximately 5 percent of their initial body weight) and dogs lost an average of twelve pounds (approximately 15.6 percent of their initial body weight).
But for those days when you can't make it out for a run or walk with your pet, hire Charlotte Dog Walker (704.684.5311, www.charlottedogwalker.com) or Gopher Dogs (704-778-7745, www.gopherdogs.com) to take your pooch for a stroll for thirty minutes to an hour (starting at $17).
| Let your pup run alongside you during South End's Dogswalk Against Cancer (www.dogswalkcharlotte.org) next April. This noncompetitive race raised nearly $35,000 in its second year in the fight against cancer. Or sign up for Light the Night Walk (www.lightthenight.org) on September 27 at the Wachovia Atrium, where all proceeds for this noncompete walk go to the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society. |