Want to Lose Weight? Get a Fat Dog.
Is your dog overweight? Are you overweight? Well, have you ever thought that maybe you could lose weight at the same time?
A few researchers and vets got an idea due to how many dog owners are so closely attached to their pups. See, dogs are often a great way to keep fit because of how much walking they require. But there is a not insignificant percentage of pet parents (as much as 25% according to one study) who don’t walk their dogs enough and they actually are less fit than people who own no dogs.
So the plan was to recruit owners with unhealthy hounds and try a couple different approaches: One was to tell them that their dog needed exercise, which averaged to about 30 minutes a day. The other was simply to tell them that their dog was a porker. And after three months, both the dogs and owners were thinner in both categories.
Yes, just mentioning the health of the dog to an owner made them exercise their dogs, and in turn, themselves more. We should always exercise to feel good and be healthier, but it turns out that having the health of another being at stake can be a great motivator.
Any future studies of cats, though, will likely be less positive.