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Celebrity fitness queen’s bid to fight the flab for nation’s pets

Known for helping thousands of humans shed the pounds and adopt a healthier lifestyle, keep fit queen Rosemary Conley has now turned her attention to overweight pets during National Pet Month (April 1-May 6).

Rosemary, a huge animal fan who has lived with pets since she was a child and now has three dogs, is urging pet owners across the UK to show their love for their pets by providing them with a healthy lifestyle and diet.

“It’s important for people to look after their pet’s weight as much as their own weight,” says Rosemary.

“They need to be careful with the treats they give their pets as giving pets endless treats just because they ask for them surmounts to pet cruelty and leads to heart disease, hyper-tension, joint problems and arthritis.”

Rosemary currently owns two black Labradors – BB and Sky – and a rescued lurcher whippet cross called Waise who now goes to work with her and has her own bed under Rosemary’s desk.

Waise is quite a character, as Rosemary explains: “One day Waise went walking to a nearby village. We received a telephone call to say that she had walked into a house and gone to sleep on the owner’s bed. To this day she still visits our neighbour and sleeps on the bed while he’s in it!”

Rosemary loves the positive impact pets can have on people’s lives and believes dog ownership is a great way to get fit, stay fit and live a really happy, fulfilled life.

She adds: “Research has shown that dog owners tend to be a stone lighter than non dog-owners.

“Dogs provide owners with a wonderful reason to go out walking – one of the easiest and best fitness activities you can do. As one doctor once said to me, ‘Dogs should be prescribed on the NHS’.”

National Pet Month (April 1-May 6), now in its 24th year, brings thousands of pet fans and pet care professionals together to celebrate responsible pet ownership and raise money for their favourite UK pet charities.

With almost 50 per cent of UK households owning at least one pet, people of all ages and all kinds of organisations have been showing their support by staging and attending a wide variety of fun and educational events.

From nurseries, schools and colleges to workplaces, clubs, churches, community groups, pet stores, veterinary clinics and many more, the nation’s involvement in National Pet Month has proved, once again, we’re a nation of pet enthusiasts.

If you’re a pet owner there’s lots of ways you can ensure your animals maintain a safe weight.

  • Don’t be tempted to give table scraps as these are often too high in calories for pets – one  chunk of cheese for your cat is the equivalent to nine chunks of cheese for an average sized woman!
  • If you are feeding specially formulated pet treats – don’t over do it – look out for lighter varieties too. Remember to take any treats in to consideration at mealtimes and adjust the amount you feed accordingly. Don’t feed so much that you disrupt the nutritional balance of the diet.
  • Check your pet’s weight routinely. Get hands on and do this at home with the Pet Size-O-Meter  http://www.pfma.org.uk/pet-size-o-meter/

Although National Pet Month’s campaign may have less than a week to go, its tireless work to support pet charities and educate the pet owning public continues throughout the year.

For more information go to www.nationalpetmonth.org.uk

Pet fans can follow National Pet Month on Facebook www.facebook.com/NationalPetMonth and on Twitter http://Twitter.com/NatPetMonthUK

National Pet Month takes place from April 1 to May 6 2013

Press Office

For media information, images or to speak to a spokesperson about National Pet Month and Pet Care Aware please contact Taz Thornton or Asha Clearwater at Turquoise Tiger on +44 (0)1406 380737 or email info@nationalpetmonth.org.uk

Please note we have access to a range of spokespeople via our trustees, sponsors and most animal welfare organisations and charities who get involved with NPM.

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Pet Care Aware is a home for pet lovers, pet friendly businesses and organisations, which supports pet related campaigns whatever the time of year.