News on Health & Science

Dogs in Thailand swim to get slim

BANGKOK: Wearing a life jacket like any good swimming student, five-year-old golden retriever Jasmine is being lowered on a winch into a pool for her weekly doggie-paddle workout.

Her swims are aimed at shedding pounds, which her owner Gunyarat Kloy-Iam says she packed on because it’s just too hot in Bangkok for her to go out for a walk.

“When I was free during the day, it was simply too hot for her to go out and enjoy it,” says 48-year-old Gunyarat, who runs a agricultural chemical company.

European pedigree breeds like Jasmine have become immensely popular in tropical Asian countries like Thailand, where they have to be kept indoors and air-conditioned just to stay cool. Veterinarians say rising affluence means many pets are also being spoilt rotten — which usually means they are being grossly overfed.

More than half of Thailand’s pedigree pooches are now believed to be clinically obese, according to vet Chaiyaporn Phonsuwan, a co-owner of the Veterinary 4 Polyclinic in Bangkok.

“More than 50% of big and medium-sized pet dogs in Bangkok, usually foreign breeds, have a problem with obesity,” he said.

“Common Thai dogs do not have this problem — they can handle the environment and exercise in the heat.” Chaiyaporn’s wife, Araya Phonsuwan, who is also a vet, came up with the idea for a special doggie pool four years ago after a trip to Britain to study hydrotherapy for pets.

Source:The Times Of India

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