A new attempt to highlight the dangers of canine obesity is being promoted under the banner of Keep Fit with Fido 2010. A survey carried out on behalf of the Kennel Club revealed that a third of dog owners admitted they themselves are overweight and one in five owned up to not giving their dogs sufficient exercise.
Other findings from the research included:
• 20 percent of dog owners are not even taking their four-legged friends out for a daily walk.
• A quarter of those asked think their dogs get the exercise they need by running around in the backyard.
The Keep Fit with Fido 2010 campaign is designed to encourage dog owners to get involved with sports such as agility, in a bid to combat the burgeoning obesity epidemic in people and pets alike. There are downloadable guides that aim to give people new ideas about how they can exercise and have fun with their dogs.
"This research shows that too many dogs are not getting the exercise that they need, and this can reduce both the length and quality of their lives,” said Caroline Kisko, Kennel Club secretary.
"If going for a long walk doesn’t motivate owners, then the summer months are the perfect time to try new sports that are great fun and good for the health of both dog and owner,” she continued. "Agility is the world’s fastest growing canine sport and it’s easy to see why. It’s affordable, suitable for any age group or breed of dog and is a fantastic way to get fit and stay in shape.”
Dog owners are being actively encouraged under the program to try their hand at agility. The sport is being promoted on the basis that it is:
• Suitable for all ages--whether 7 or 70, anybody can enjoy the sport.
• Suitable for any breed-- as long as the dog is more than 12 months old for practice and 18 months to compete.
• Easy to become involved-- there are now more the 310 Kennel Club licensed agility clubs all across the U.K.
• Affordable-- only $3- $9 on average, for a one-hour group lesson.
• A good motivator--the dog acts as an owner’s personal trainer, egging him or her on when motivation is lagging.
Kennel Club International Agility Festival
The Kennel Club International Agility Festival sponsored by Purina Pro Plan® saw 2,500 dogs from 25 different countries running, jumping and weaving their way through the various events this past summer. The festival included qualifying classes for DFS Crufts 2011 and Discover Dogs 2010 plus the Kennel Club Nations Cup and the Kennel Club International Young Handler of the Year, reflecting just how popular and global the sport has become.
It was a truly international affair with dogs and their handlers representing countries as far flung as Australia, New Zealand, Japan and Kenya. For the first time ever, entries were received from Croatia, Sweden, Malta and Finland.
The International Agility Festival is the only international show to be open to all Kennel Club registered dogs – whether cross-bred or pure-bred. Breeds of all shapes and sizes took part from Border collies and poodles through to Bavarian mountain hounds, boxers and West Highland white terriers.
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