Celebrity Fitness Guru Helps Overweight Dogs

J. Lo’s trainer Gunnar Peterson joins the challenge to help overweight dogs shed pounds.

Celebrity fitness guru Gunnar Peterson made his name getting Hollywood hotshots like Jennifer Lopez and Angelina Jolie in superstar shape. Now the dog-loving Peterson is turning his sights on helping America’s overweight pets.

“The major factors of obesity are the same for people and pets – high caloric intake and a decrease in physical activity,” Peterson says. “Many pet owners think that food equals love, but this is not the case. My dog Lennox would much rather wrestle with me than have a treat and it’s a workout for both of us.”

Peterson has teamed with Hill’s Pet Nutrition to launch the 2007 PetFit Challenge, a weight loss program designed to help overweight dogs and cats get in shape.

Owners can visit www.PetFit.com for help in developing a weight management program, which the company says should be overseen by the dog’s veterinarian. The site also contains several useful tools, including an interactive chart that tracks spent calories and a weight-check tool that estimates a dog’s ideal body weight based on his breed size, age, current weight and body condition.

Last year’s PetFit Challenge attracted thousands of owners and their dogs, including Samson, a chocolate Labrador Retriever who lost 34 pounds, and Milo, a Miniature Pincher who shed 53 percent of his initial body weight.

Hill’s Pet Nutrition estimates that 35 percent of the total U.S. pet population – or 48 million dogs and cats – are overweight.

For more information on dog obesity, click here.

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