By Rieva Lesonsky

The other day one of my business partners was talking about how much her dog, Butters (pictured), loves to eat frozen green beans. While it’s hard to believe this could be considered a delicacy by either man or beast, Butters, an English Bulldog, is a little tubby and has been put on a diet, so apparently frozen beans are as good as it gets for him now.

Lest this sound bizarre, in its National Pet Obesity Survey released last year, the Association for Pet Obesity Prevention reports 53 percent of dogs in America are overweight or obese. While this is alarming, it doesn’t quite match the percentage of American adults who are overweight or obese (67 percent). However, it does top the percentage of overweight or obese America kids (32 percent).

Several fitness entrepreneurs are jumping in to solve the obesity challenge by offering workouts and classes for pets—and the people who own them. According to one fitness club owner, pets, like people, “benefit from any kind of physical activity.”

Take a look at some of the people/pet classes being offered across the nation (including doggie yoga and several boot camps) and think about starting your own fitness center, or adding pet/people classes to your existing facility. If you’re starting out on a budget, perhaps you can offer personal training at the pet owner’s home.

Rieva Lesonsky is CEO of GrowBiz Media, a media and custom content company focusing on small business and entrepreneurship. Email Rieva at [email protected], follow her on Google+   and and visit her website,, to get the scoop on business trends and sign up for Rieva’s free TrendCast reports.