Dog Treadmills and Parkour: The Latest for Curbing Pet Obesity?

2012-08-20 13:03

Just as we humans are getting rounder in the middle, so are our pets. Reducing weight for our furry friends is not any different from what our doctors tell us - adopt a healthy diet and get more exercise (eat less, move more). But what if you just aren’t able to take your doggie for a walk in the park? Here are two unique suggestions for getting your pet more activity.

According to the Association for Pet Obesity Prevention (APOP), 54% of US pets are overweight. That equals out to about 88.4 million dogs and cats that are too heavy for optimal health. Animal health conditions related to weight include osteoarthritis, type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, breathing problems, kidney disease, and shortened life expectancy (sound familiar?)

Owners who live in areas where it is unsafe to get their pet outdoors for a walk can now purchase a dog treadmill. The American Pet Products Association says that in 2010, about 3 million dogs were using one, such as the DogPACER, a folding, portable treadmill with a top speed of 7.5 mph. It can hold pets up to 150 pounds and costs $499.


Could you just get double use out of your own treadmill? Not a good idea, says the team at DogPACER. Human treadmills are built for upright control and have a relatively short belt. The longer belt on the DogPACER better accommodates our four-legged friends. The motor is also quieter so as not to frighten your pet.

What if walking your pet is just too low-key for you? How about parkour! Parkour is a physical discipline which focuses on efficient movement (vaulting, rolling, running, climbing, and leaping) around obstacles. Unlike your standard dog agility training, parkour is a non-competitive activity.


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