All too often we have the best intentions of exercising and keeping both ourselves and our pets fit, but it can frequently be difficult to find the time (and perhaps the motivation!) to follow through with our well-meaning objectives. Invariably, work, family commitments and life in general seem to take over, and finding the time to do something good for ourselves and our four-legged family members can easily take a back seat.
Did you know that nearly half of our UK pet population is overweight? Just as it does in humans, being overweight increases the likelihood of diseases such as diabetes, arthritis and heart disease in our pets. In fact, being overweight by just 20% puts your pet at an increased risk of getting these diseases. Good nutrition and regular exercise play a crucial role in helping our pets maintain a healthy weight.
The team at Hill’s Pet Nutrition are passionate about providing quality pet nutrition and promoting the general health and wellbeing of animals. That’s why they were inspired to tie the launch of their new range of pet foods, Hill's™ Prescription Diet™ Metabolic + Mobility, in with a healthy, fun and motivating way to get you and your pooch fabulously fit together!
Michelle Nelson, Brand Marketing Manager for Hill’s™ Prescription Diet™, loves keeping fit in her spare time with her dog, Monty. She wanted to use the launch of their new product to inspire pet owners to spend time with their dogs in an active, outdoor setting. As the focus of Hill’s new food range is mobility, doggy boot camps seemed like the perfect fit.
”Being passionate about fitness and my dog Monty in my spare time, organising something to combine the two for other dog owners was a no-brainer. I’m always out and about with Monty, making sure he gets plenty of exercise and it’s great for me too. I even join forces with other dog owners at times. I wanted to create an event that really showed that if dog owners exercise with their dogs, it can be such a fun and stress free way to get fit for both parties. Hence the Hill’s doggy boot camp was born”.
By teaming up with Nuffield Health – Croxley Green Gym, Hill’s took the first doggy boot camp from an idea to a reality on Friday 10th July. It was held at Croxley Green Business Park in Watford, Hertfordshire and several keen boot-campers turned up ready and raring to run their pooches through their paces!
Already very popular in the United States, doggy boot camp is a fun, activity-filled exercise course that pet owners and dogs undertake together. Owners and their pups participate in a series of different activities laid out in a circuit. Around six different activities are set up and a thorough run-down of what each ‘exercise station’ entails is provided by your friendly Nuffield Health instructor. Activities range from encouraging your dog to jump through a hula hoop to jogging slalom-style around a series of poles. Everything can be done at your/your dog’s own pace. There is no rush or pressure to complete the course within a set amount of time. The beauty of these events is that you can literally be of any fitness level and still easily take part. Far from being competitive, they are simply a great, easy, fun way to spend some quality time outside with your dog and get a bit active.
Everyone that attended the first doggy boot camp had a fabulous time. Plenty of water was provided (both for two and four-legged attendees!) There were plenty of tails wagging as new doggy friendships were formed and everyone that attended received a complimentary Hill’s doggy bag filled with delicious treats and a dog blanket.
Research suggests that exercise can increase endorphins in our bodies – ‘feel-good’ chemicals that our central nervous system produces – that can lift our mood and make us feel content and energised.
So if you want to get in shape, feel great and spend some quality bonding time with your pooch, a Hill’s doggy boot camp may be just the thing for you! Although there are no set dates for the next one yet, the first one proved such a huge success that Hill’s plan to make these events a regular summer feature in future. By following Hill’s on Facebook and Twitter you will be sure to catch all the details of the next event when it is announced.
If you think your dog may be at risk of any weight-related health issues, please see your vet. You can find your local Medivet practice by using our online practice finder.
Posted September 18, 2015 in Press