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DietBet Sponsors Dog-Owner Tag-Team Weight Loss Contest (March 27, 2012)

CALABASH, NC -- (Marketwire) -- 03/27/12 -- It seems like a lot of people are talking about America's so-called fat cats these days, but what about America's actual fat cats? And fat dogs? Man's best friends are facing the same weight problems as many of their owners. With that in mind, is hosting an unprecedented cross-species weight-loss contest. Dogs and their owners got on the scale together to compete to lose four percent of their combined weight in four weeks. The winners will split a $1,250 prize to spend it however they please, or bury it in the backyard.

The four-week game is being officiated by renowned veterinarian, Dr. Ernie Ward. Dr. Ward is the founder of Seaside Animal Care and The Association for Pet Obesity Prevention and an authority on pet weight-control. Under Dr. Ward's supervision, the participants will endeavor to keep their paws off extra treats, and so will their dogs.

From husky huskies to chubby chihuahas, according to the Association for Pet Obesity Prevention (APOP), 53 percent of dogs in the United States are overweight or obese. Human obesity has also reached epidemic proportions with 200 million overweight Americans. The silver lining is that humans and pets can help each other. Whether by going out for walks or taking turns fetching sticks, they can jointly adopt healthy lifestyles.

Each team will bet $50 with DietBet contributing an additional $1000. The $1,250 pot will be shared among the winners and with Rescue Animals Community Effort (RACE), an organization that improves the quality of life of companion dogs in Brunswick County, North Carolina.

The paunchy pooches include:

  • Jake, a mixed breed and his owner Angie, a veterinary technician with Seaside Animal Care, who nursed Jake back from an infection after finding him under her father-in-law's car.

  • Daisy, a Labrador Retriever who has struggled to lose weight. By teaming up with Ashleigh, her owner and veterinary technician with Seaside Animal Care, she will swear off muffin tops for good.

  • Foxy, a German Shepard, who was abandoned in a crate on an empty lot and managed to escape to avoid starving. Adopted by Autumn, Foxy began to eat as much as she could.

  • Dallas, a Golden Retriever, who reluctantly agreed to participate after much urging from his owner, Carol. Dallas is in denial of his eating problems but is willing to go along with the game.

  • Noel, a Bichon Frise, who has been spoiled by her owner, Maria. Although both do a fair amount of walking each day, they sabotage their efforts by not watching their diets.

Note: photos of all two and four-legged participants are available.

"A program that helps pet owners lose weight alongside their pets was a natural fit with our mission," said Dr. Ward, president of the Association for Pet Obesity Prevention and Seaside Animal Care. "At Seaside, we've watched so many of these dogs overcome illnesses and infections and obesity is their next hurdle."

DietBet, normally played among humans, injects fun, competition, and social collaboration into Americans' neverending quest to shed extra weight. Players use the DietBet message boards to offer encouragement and trash talk during a four-week contest.

"The hardest part about losing weight is doing it alone," said Jamie Rosen, DietBet's founder. "Teaming up with your dog to get in shape is an enjoyable way to jumpstart new healthy habits. At DietBet, we´re always looking for fun ideas to motivate people to get in shape."

About DietBet
DietBet is a social dieting company that makes it fun to lose weight. Players can bet money into the pot and also compete for non-monetary stakes. Everyone who reaches their target weight after four weeks splits the pot. It's motivation through friendly competition, with real rewards, and it works. Ninety percent of dietbetters lose weight. DietBet was founded by Jamie Rosen and launched in December 2011. Find DietBet on Facebook and Twitter.

About The Association for Pet Obesity Prevention (APOP)
APOP has launched campaigns to fight pet obesity within the veterinary medical community, veterinary school, and state and local veterinary organizations. The organization is made up of dedicated veterinarians and healthcare personnel who are committed to making the lives of dogs, cats, all other animals and people healthier and more vital. APOP was founded in 2005 by veterinarian Dr. Ernie Ward, a competitive Ironman triathlete, certified personal trainer, and an accredited USA Triathlon coach. A key component of APOP's mission is to develop and promote parallel weight loss programs designed to help pet owners lose weight alongside their pets.

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