Is Bigger Better?

In the five years I have lived in Reno, I have seen Nevada get labeled in many not-so-flattering ways. Some related to the economy—highest unemployment and foreclosure rates. Others related to life-style—most drunk and lowest volunteerism. But the newest one hit close to home for me as an animal welfare professional—Nevada is now among the worst in the nation for cat and dog obesity.

A report, published by Banfield Applied Research and Knowledge (BARK), concluded that one in four pets in Nevada is obese. Only three states in the United States had a worse record. Seems doubly troubling to me when it comes to dogs since we have moderate weather and a community filled with dog parks and dog-friendly businesses.

As in people, overweight pets face a higher rate of arthritis, kidney, thyroid, heart disease and also have a higher early mortality rate. We certainly want our pets to live healthy long lives and one way to get the ball rolling is to participate in the Nevada Humane Society’s Walk for Animals on June 2 at the Sparks Marina. You can help raise money to save homeless pets while at the same time creating a new habit of exercise for you and your dog (other pets are also welcome in enclosed strollers or proper restraints).

Nevada Humane Society is also putting a new twist to the concept and saying bigger (not obese) is better in our current Size Does Matter adoption promotion where you can give a larger animal a home at reduced adoption fees. Puppies, kittens, and small breed dogs are among some of the most popular animals at the shelter, but Nevada Humane Society wants to prove that big animals have many benefits over cute but sometimes challenging smaller animals.

First, compared to puppies and kittens, adult pets are calmer and usually make an easy transition into your home. Next, larger breeds of dogs often make the best family dogs as they are less nervous than smaller breed dogs. Large dogs are also great for people with an active lifestyle, keeping you company on those scenic outdoor hikes. And of course, bigger animals are easier to find when you’re looking to cuddle.

So help turn around another negative thorn in Nevada’s side—start your new pet exercise program at the NHS Walk for Animals or give a big homeless pet a new, happy and long life—or BOTH!

Events that Help Homeless Pets.

Size Does Matter at Nevada Humane Society. Adult pets are calmer and easier to introduce to your household. Adopt any cat that weighs 10 lbs or more for $10 and any dog 40 lbs or more for just $40 now through May 20. More info at nevadahumanesociety.org or 775-856-2000.

Charity Poker Tournament to Benefit NHS G.I. Dogs Program, May 18, 7:00pm at the Peppermill at 7:00pm. Call 775-689-7275 for more info.

Free Spay/Neuter for Cats in Zip Codes 89502, 89506, and 89433 for a limited time. To make an appointment, call the NHS Clinic at 775-856-2000 extension 312.

Walk for Animals June 2 at Sparks Marina. Register today to help raise $100,000 for homeless pets.Brochures available at area businesses or download one from http://www.NevadaHumaneSociety.org.

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