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Purina® Dog Chow® Offers a Light & Healthy Solution to Managing the Dog’s Weight

It's Pet Appreciation Week and our friends at Purina Dog Chow recently conducted a survey with 1,000 dog owners across the country to learn more about their perceptions, challenges and habits surrounding managing their pet’s weight. Through the survey, they were able to gain insights into how people view their dog’s weight, how they manage it, how they believe their dog feels about low-calorie food and what kind of exercise habits they have.  Get the details below AND the link for a coupon to try their new Purina Dog Chow Light & Healthy!

While dogs are considered man’s best friend, a recent survey* revealed many owners may struggle with how to best care for their pudgy pooches. Since maintaining a healthy weight can add years to a dog’s life and help them avoid serious medical conditions, Purina® Dog Chow® Light & Healthy conducted a nationwide survey to learn more about owner perceptions of their pet’s weight, management, exercise and feeding habits, in an effort to offer some solutions to help America’s heavy hounds get back on track.

Perception vs. Reality
As pet obesity reaches epidemic levels, the recent Dog Chow Light & Healthy survey identified a stark contrast between owners’ perceptions and reality when it comes to their dog’s weight. While only 22 percent of owners surveyed believe their dog is overweight, the Association for Pet Obesity Prevention reports that a whopping 53 percent of dogs are actually overweight or obese1.

Even when owners acknowledge that their four-legged friend may be tipping the scales, the survey findings suggest that many may struggle with how to tackle the problem. Of dog owners surveyed who believe their dog is overweight, almost one-fourth (24 percent) admit they don’t know how they should manage their dog’s weight, and 22 percent have taken no action to do so.

Nutrition Matters
Of those surveyed who have taken action to manage their dog’s weight, more than one-third (36 percent) report feeding smaller portions of the same dog food. However this may leave the dog feeling less than satisfied and the owner feeling guilty.

“Providing a healthy, low calorie diet should be the first step owners take to help their pet slim down,” says Christina Schneider, Brand Manager for Purina Dog Chow. “Purina Dog Chow Light & Healthy was specifically designed to help dogs reach their ideal weight, without sacrificing taste or skimping on portion size.

Purina Dog Chow Light & Healthy contains 20 percent fewer calories than Purina Dog Chow Complete & Balanced, is steam-cooked at the start, includes a tender, crunchy kibble blend and is made with high quality protein sources including real chicken. It’s light in calories, but big on taste.

Assessing the Issue
A key challenge for owners may lie in understanding how to tell if their dog is overweight in the first place. While 85 percent of those surveyed believe they know the correct signs to determine if their dog is a healthy weight, approximately 41 percent rely on their veterinarian to determine if their dog is overweight.
 
While veterinarians are an excellent resource for advice when managing a pet’s weight, it’s important that owners know how to properly assess their dog’s weight as well. The Nestle Purina Body Condition System provides guidelines to help determine if the dog is a healthy weight, including checking the profile and overhead view of the dog, as well as feeling for the dog’s ribs.

Get Moving
In conjunction with feeding a low calorie dog food like Purina Dog Chow Light & Healthy, regular exercise can benefit both the dog and owner. Of dog owners surveyed who report having a healthy weight dog, 61 percent reported exercising regularly themselves, and 77 percent said they give their dog exercise more than three times per week. Having a canine companion also can be one of the best motivators for staying active. In fact 79 percent of survey participants said they would rather exercise with their dog than with a personal trainer, and 68 percent would choose exercising with their dog over a friend.

Purina Dog Chow Light & Healthy is part of the Total Care Nutrition™ portfolio of Purina Dog Chow, and is available for purchase at all grocery, mass and pet specialty retailers. The suggested retail price is $5.99 for a 4lb bag, $12.99 for a 16.5 lb bag, and $21.99 for a 32lb bag. To learn more and download a coupon to try Purina Dog Chow Light & Healthy, visit www.dogchow.com/lightandhealthy.

 

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1According to the Association of Pet Obesity Prevention, 2013 Pet Obesity Study

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