Regardless of how stressful your work and personal life can be, the hardest part of any day is trying to say "no" to an adorable dog as it begs for a bite of your dinner. But before you cave and give Fido a piece of that chicken, it's important to know that you're not just feeding your furry friend, but also a nationwide epidemic of canine obesity.
No one is questioning the cuteness factor of a kind-of-fat dog. In fact, the jury is still out on whether the pudgiest dogs are also the happiest — but there's a major set of health risks associated with canine obesity, including diabetes, arthritis, high blood pressure, and kidney and respiratory diseases. According to The New York Times and the Association for Pet Obesity Prevention (yes, that's a real association), more than half of American dogs are overweight. And though dog owners may say in jest that it's time for their pet to start a gym routine, doggie fat camps are now a real thing, priced anywhere from $40 to $100 per day, or over $1,000 for a month's worth of training.
Overweight dogs are a problem especially in New York, where owners don't have the luxury of backyards to allow them to run around all day. It's not just a lack of exercise, though: Cesar Millan, the be-all end-all of dog trainers, cites owners confusing food with affection and attention as the main cause of canine obesity. To reduce a dog's dangerous weight, owners are sending their pups to facilities that now specialize in weight loss, offering resources like treadmills and swimming pools. Trust, if these camps had live-streaming capabilities like the Puppy Bowl, we'd probably check it out at least once an hour.
For those concerned that a stricter exercise regiment isn't as animal friendly as, say, a run in the park, we imagine these doggie workouts aren't structured like the Ben Stiller-run camp in Heavyweights, where "lunch is canceled due to lack of hustle." Besides, you haven't lived until you've seen this dachshund swimming. Just look at her. (New York Times)