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We all packed on those extra pounds during the holidays and now it’s time to shed that extra baggage the way German Shepherds shed their coats in the summertime. We all know that America is suffering from an obesity epidemic. Somehow this epidemic—along with all of its accompanying health risks—is affecting our pet population as well.

In the mid 90's, studies showed that 15% of pets were overweight. Now it's a whopping 40%! This does not bode well. As we know from television, radio, newspapers and magazines, those extra pounds are not ideal … not for us and not for our pets. Our pets’ growing waistlines can contribute to numerous health issues. Let’s face it, a trim pet is more likely to live a longer, healthier and happier life !!!
So let's explore this. Does this increase in pet obesity have to do with some spiritual connection between pets and humanity? Or is it something more tangible? This much is true: animals are awesome copy cats (excuse the pun!). According to a study published in Journal of Nutrition, dogs of overweight owners are nearly three times more likely to be overweight themselves. The same is probably true for cats as well.
 Can the Human-Animal Bond Be a Bad Thing?
We at HealthyPetNet champion the human-animal bond. We believe that a strong emotional bond between pet and parent is healthy for both parties on many levels …physical, emotional, spiritual and psychological. But, can the human-animal bond be an unhealthy thing for pets? After all, if you're a couch potato, chances are your pet may be a couch potato as well. Sitting together on the couch for hours on end, watching television and stuffing your faces with snacks and treats is promoting the sedentary lifestyle for you and your pet. Our pets are our mirrors; they are chiseled and molded by our household's habits. They embody our lifestyles, our decisions, our dreams. On a more spiritual level, they can even reflect our health. Dr. Jane recalls when she was suffering from severe asthma years ago. At the time, she had a cat that she was very close to and, out of nowhere, the cat developed asthma as well!

So as we rummage through our brains for our New Year's resolutions, let's keep our pets in mind and turn the human-animal bond back into the positive thing it was meant to be.

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 January 2006 Issue

Dr. Jane Bicks
Veterinarian
Product Formulator

First and foremost,
Dr. Jane is the ultimate pet person. She shares her life with a dog, a goat, two horses, a monkey, and two cats. Her pets are her family and she is dedicated to their health and happiness. Dr. Jane knows you feel the same way about your pets and she has devoted her life to the health and wellness of our precious companions.

Dr. Jane is a highly respected and nationally recognized holistic veterinarian. She is the author of three national books on pet care and nutrition and has served on professional boards including the Cornell Feline Health Center.  Dr. Jane is responsible for HealthyPetNet's product formulation and development.

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