London, Nov 20 : Besides protecting house from burglars, a pet pooch can help you and your family shed extra flab - that's what the story of a Brit couple suggests.
Colin and Lyn Lawrence and their three kids Hannah, Toby and Lucy are a living example of the fact that a pet dog can help people lead an active life.
After being informed about a unique pilot scheme by fitness expert Joanna Hall called the 'Active Family Active Dog', the Brit family adopted a Labrador retriever called Barney, which united them as a family and they automatically shed weight.
Eldest daughter Hannah, 13, who was a little overweight swapped her lethargic hours before the computer for walks with Barney and within days she lost more than 2lb and nearly two inches from her waist and acquired a toned body.
The aim of the six-week programme is to boost family activity and unity, plus give dogs the much-needed exercise. And at the end of the programme, you can keep the dog.
"A family dog gets everyone involved in daily activity that doesn't feel like going to the gym or being on a diet," The Sun quoted Hall, as saying.
Mum of three Lyn, who has herself lost all the extra flab, is happy to see her daughter Hannah in a more toned shape, all thanks to Barney.
"Our two younger children - Toby, 11, and Lucy, eight - were quite active with various after-school activities, while me and older girl Hannah had quite sedentary lifestyles," Lyn said.
"Lucy had nagged us for years to get a dog so the programme gave us the excuse," Lyn added.
The family has experienced improvements in blood pressure and cardiovascular fitness, and they feel much happier.