Realizing Your Dog's Weight Problem May Help You with Yours

Dogs are just as susceptible to humanity's growing weight problem. But a new study shows that owners are willing to act when they realize their pets' lives are at risk.

Dogs aren't fitness trackers. Yes, they'll let you know when they need to go out, but if your plans for adopting a dog are only to motivate yourself to exercise, think again. Dogs are just as susceptible to humanity's growing weight problem. But a new study shows that owners are willing to act when they realize their pets' lives are at risk.

There's a common myth that dog owners are fit. Gretchen Reynolds of the New York Times highlights several studies with contradictory findings on this subject. One from 2013 reports that dog owners spend an hour more per week walking than people without dogs. While another from 2008 found that close to a quarter of dog owners never walked their pets--getting less exercise than those without a dog. However, there's one study that shows promise for owners that have slipped into a sedentary lifestyle, and their pet with them. Veterinarians and physicians at the Uniformed Services University of Health Sciences conducted a study that found dog owners were willing to make lifestyle changes if it was for the sake of their dog's health.

The researchers gathered 32 dog owners to participate in the study. The dogs were considered obese according to each ones age, size, and breed, and all had adopted a sedentary lifestyle—much like their owners. The group was split into two: One group was told by a veterinarian that they needed to keep an eye on their dog's health and nutrition, while the other group was told their dog was overweight and needed more exercise. The latter group was given a prescription that required 30 minutes of walking every day for their dog.

After three months, the dogs and their owners were evaluated, showing that both groups--humans and dogs--had lost weight.

“Based on our findings, both groups increased physical activity and [body condition scores] decreased significantly, and veterinarian-based counseling may have impacted these changes.”

Capt. Mark B. Stephens M.D., a Professor of Family Medicine and co-author of the study, had his own take on the findings, stating:

“ and concern for a dog can be a powerful motivation for exercise.”

Read more at New York Times

Photo Credit: Shutterstock

LinkedIn meets Tinder in this mindful networking app

Swipe right to make the connections that could change your career.

Getty Images
Swipe right. Match. Meet over coffee or set up a call.

No, we aren't talking about Tinder. Introducing Shapr, a free app that helps people with synergistic professional goals and skill sets easily meet and collaborate.

Keep reading Show less

What’s behind our appetite for self-destruction?

Is it "perverseness," the "death drive," or something else?

Photo by Brad Neathery on Unsplash
Mind & Brain

Each new year, people vow to put an end to self-destructive habits like smoking, overeating or overspending.

Keep reading Show less

34 years ago, a KGB defector chillingly predicted modern America

A disturbing interview given by a KGB defector in 1984 describes America of today and outlines four stages of mass brainwashing used by the KGB.

Politics & Current Affairs
  • Bezmenov described this process as "a great brainwashing" which has four basic stages.
  • The first stage is called "demoralization" which takes from 15 to 20 years to achieve.
  • According to the former KGB agent, that is the minimum number of years it takes to re-educate one generation of students that is normally exposed to the ideology of its country.
Keep reading Show less

Douglas Rushkoff – It’s not the technology’s fault

It's up to us humans to re-humanize our world. An economy that prioritizes growth and profits over humanity has led to digital platforms that "strip the topsoil" of human behavior, whole industries, and the planet, giving less and less back. And only we can save us.

Think Again Podcasts
  • It's an all-hands-on-deck moment in the arc of civilization.
  • Everyone has a choice: Do you want to try to earn enough money to insulate yourself from the world you're creating— or do you want to make the world a place you don't have to insulate yourself from?
Keep reading Show less