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Hot Topic Tuesday: Does Your Dog Need A Gym?

Written on December 4, 2012 at 6:14 pm , by

Are sneakers and a leash enough to bring your pet’s fitness back up to buff?

Written by Deanna Cioppa, editorial intern

We know health is important to you, but is there someone else who could use a couple rounds on the treadmill or yoga mat? Someone who has four feet and is furry, perhaps? And would you spend as much (or more) on your pet’s workout as your own?

CNN recently reported on a new “retreat” in Florida that helps transform your pudgy pup back into the sleek BFF (Best Fit Friend) you first brought into a loving home. Opened in 2011 by certified canine massage therapists, Rocky’s Retreat Canine Health and Fitness Center in Orlando has a variety of services to bring your dog’s fitness level up to snuff, including Aqua Therapy and a 12-week weight loss program. The appointments, however, come with a hefty price tag – the 12-week service starts at nearly $500 under special introductory pricing.

Rocky’s isn’t the only center helping pups break a sweat, either. Pet fitness centers have popped up across the country, and manufacturers have begun marketing at-home equipment. A quick search on Amazon brings up a variety of at-home doggy treadmills with prices starting between $400 and $500. That’s a lot more than a running leash and a pair of sneakers.

Now, we all love our pets and want them to live long, healthy lives. In October, though, Reuters reported a troubling statistic: Approximately 53 percent of adult dogs are obese in this country. So the question isn’t about how much we love our furry friends, but how much are we willing to spend to get their weight down? And is an expensive regimen at a pet spa worth the time and money?

Now you tell us: Would you put your pet on a diet or take them to a retreat if your vet recommended they lose weight? If you aren’t willing to cough up the dough, but still want to get your pet back on the right, er, paw,  check out our guide to running with your dog!

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  • Kar_katt

    No way! Our dog is a small inside dog and therefore prone to becoming overweight. When we adopted him, my husband and I agreed that it was important that we do our best to keep him healthy. This has led to us feeding him the recommended amount and taking him on several short walks throughout the day. We also play inside when it’s to cold for our little guy to spend too much time outside. Dogs need regular exercise to be happy, healthy, and well-behaved. Sending them to boot camp isn’t going to change the situation that made them overweight in the first place. Just as with humans, dogs need a consistent and sustainable diet and exercise program to stay at a healthy weight.