Bubbly radio presenter Sara Cox, along with her gorgeous Maltese terrier, Beano, are on a mission to help Great Britain’s hounds stay in shape.    

With just under half of the UK’s dogs a little overweight, Radio DJ Sara Cox and her four legged friend are on a fitness crusade. With the help of Pedigree Tracks, Cox hopes to get all six legs back in shape by tracking their daily exercise levels and promoting a better understanding of pooch’s nutritional needs.    Dog-mad Cox has downloaded the Pedigree Tracks app and uses it religiously. “It’s a fun way of helping owners work out if they’re walking the dog enough and if they’re feeding them right as well. It’s quite sweet to build up your dog’s profile - my phone is just full of pictures of the dog, if ever people show my pictures of their kids I struggle to find pictures of mine, it’d be: ‘ooh yeah, dog dog dog dog…'” she jokes.

Cox reminds us that often a tubby doggie is often the product of well-meaning owners… “When I see an overweight dog ambling along I never judge and think that the people are being cruel, they obviously really love their dog and they want to give it treats and share - if they’re having a couple of choccie biccies then maybe the dog has one as well. But it isn’t really fair on the dog - you’ve got to exercise your dog, you’ve got to get them out. So this app is a kind fun way to do it, it’s not lecturing or to make people feel bad, it’s just to encourage them to get them out and about with their dog.”   Pedigree Tracks covers every breed you can think of, mongrels included, shows a pup’s daily exercise levels and helps owners recognize what nutritional needs suits their individual dog. According to Cox, however, the app helps owners get in shape too. “You can log how far your walks are, and it’s quite funny because I run on the Heath with Beano sometimes; I’ve got my app on my phone that tracks how far I’ve done and my speed per mile and that - it’s quite sweet because now I can compare it to Beano and his app too!”   With the cold months wearing on, it’s a good excuse to get outside. “It’s brilliant, especially this time of year, I mean if I buy any more waterproof boots my husband will have a fit. I’ve got so much dog walking gear because actually it’s fun to get the kids all wrapped up and then set off for a good swan through the woods with the dog and it’s definitely good for fitness.

Also, you know what, I know it sounds a bit cheesy but sometimes in summer especially when there could be 12 dogs all different shapes and sizes all legging it around at the dog park, and they’re all chasing each other, it’s actually really relaxing seeing your dog have a good time.”   It’s clear Cox and Beano are inseparable - when it comes to both work and play. “Funnily enough it’ll blow your mind but to get a dog into Radio 2 takes a lot of forms,” she laughs. “But Beano has passed his health and safety risk assessment and we’ve got a piece of paper which I can flash at the security on the door and he gets in now! I’m so excited because if I just pop in to interview Paul Young or someone I can take Beano in with me now he’s got his official BBC pass. He’s part of the BBC it’s brilliant - he’s like Sir Terry or someone who can just sneak in through the doors now!”    In fact, if you prick your ears, you might even hear Beano on air … “The other day he was in the studio and someone asked me, ‘where’s Beano?’ and I immediately looked around to find him and then: OOH! He’s chewing my headphones! Live on air! It was tough because you can’t say go ‘get off’, the monkey.”   Clearly, life with a canine friend isn’t all stress, even when you’re a national radio DJ. “It’s nice to have him with me, obviously not everyone can, if you’re an orthopaedic surgeon or something you can’t really have your dog in the operating room with you, but in my line of work it’s nice to take him with you.”   But if you ever hear a faint woof on Radio 2? That’ll be Beano…

Sara Cox and her dog Beano are working with Pedigree to launch the new Pedigree Tracks App, a personalised simple and effective tool to help owners understand their dog’s exercise and nutritional requirements. Download the app now for free on iPhone, Android and Windows mobile devices or visit 

http://uk.pedigree.com/pedigree-tracks