March 26, 2012




Calabash, NC (March 26, 2012) – 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? Obesity is a major problem in American household pets. Man’s best friends are facing the same weight problems as many of their owners. With that in mind,, an online dieting competition, is hosting an unprecedented cross-species weight-loss contest. Today dogs and their owners will get on the scale together and compete to lose four percent of their combined weight in four weeks. The winning teams will split a $1,250 cash 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 weight-control for pets. Under Dr. Ward’s supervision, the participants will endeavor to keep their paws away from extra treats and seconds on chow, and so will their dogs.

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

Each human-dog team will bet $50 into the pot with DietBet putting up an additional $1000. The $1,250 prize will be shared among the winners and with Rescue Animals Community Effort (RACE), an organization that works to improve the quality of life of companion dogs in Brunswick county, North Carolina.

The participants

The paunchy pooches in the dietbet include:

  • Jake, a 4-year-old mixed breed and his owner Angie, a veterinary technician with Seaside Animal Care, who nursed the pup back from a parasitic infection four years ago after finding him under her father-in-law’s car.
  • Daisy, a black Labrador Retriever who has tried everything from long walks to low-calorie dog biscuits to lose weight. By teaming up with Ashleigh, her owner and veterinary technician with Seaside Animal Care, she knows they will kick their muffin tops for good.
  • Foxy, a 7-year-old German Shepard, who was abandoned in a locked crate on an empty lot and managed to escape and avoid starving. After being adopted by Autumn and taken to Seaside Animal Care for vaccinations, Foxy began to eat as much as she could whenever she could. Now the two are pairing up to lose weight and stay healthy.
  • Dallas, a golden retriever, who reluctantly agreed to participate after much urging from his retired owner, Carol. Dallas swears he eats a healthy diet filled with carrots and string beans that are proper portion sizes. He’s named for the Dallas Cowboys and grew up in Washington Redskins territory.
  • Noel, a 12-year-old Bichon Frise, who has been spoiled by her owner, Maria. She has come to expect a taste of every human meal and the kitchen is her favorite room in the house. 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, founder and president of both 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’ never-ending quest to shed extra weight. Players use the DietBet message boards to offer encouragement and trash talk over the course of 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 that motivate people to get in shape.“

About DietBet

DietBet is an online social dieting game that gives players the opportunity to win money through weight-loss competitions. Dietbetters play with friends and co-workers and put money into a pot; whoever reaches the goal by the end of four weeks wins the pot (or splits it). It’s motivation through friendly competition, with real rewards. Founded by Jamie Rosen and launched in December of 2011, DietBet makes losing weight fun. 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 veterinary 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.