Your Pet Needs Exercise Too

If you’ve ever struggled to lose weight, you know that exercise is the key to reaching your goal. It’s just the same for your furry family friends as it is for the humans that love them. Pet exercise is one of the best ways to keep chubbiness at bay. It’s up to you to get your pet dog or cat started.

Pet fitness is such a problem for dogs and cats, a Veterinarian founded the Association for Pet Obesity to provide motivation and information for pet owners. Since 2005, the nonprofit has reached out to pet owners and veterinarians in an effort to fight pet obesity.

The Pet Obesity Survey

Each year, APOP has generated awareness with its Pet Obesity Survey. For the 2018 version of the survey, the organization reviewed data submitted online from 146 veterinary clinics in 41 states. They also talked to pet owners. The data they gathered detailed weight information for 1,560 dogs and 646 cats. Based on this sample, APOP projected that 59.5% of cats and 55.8% of dogs are overweight or obese.

Exercise Helps Dogs Fight Obesity

The APOP survey showed that some pet owners favored a diet change for their pets to lose weight. Others preferred pet exercise. The American Kennel Club recommends both.

As their article “Things You Should Know About Dog Obesity” explains, older dogs are often obese because they exercise less. Of course, you probably already knew that. But did you realize that health issues such as high blood pressure, heart disease, and arthritis often accompany their weight gain?

When you get your dog started on a pet exercise routine, remember these tips.

  • When you begin a new exercise program, weight loss won’t happen overnight.
  • You should start slowly and increase the exercise as your dog gets used to it.
  • Have fun with your dog. Walk the neighborhood. Go to a dog park. Toss a frisbee.
  • When you exercise with your dog, you get the benefit of exercise too.
  • The AKC recommends a lower calorie intake and increased exercise.

Exercise Helps Fight Cat Obesity

The article “Fat Cats” on PetsWebMd explains that it’s easy to figure out why so many cats are overweight. They’re overfed and under-exercised. They explain that cats need planned exercise because running around the house just isn’t enough.

Here are a few recommendations to help your cat get the exercise she needs:

  • Remember, play is the best exercise for your cat.
  • Encourage your cat to play by playing with them and their toys.
  • Place a bird-feeder outside your window to motivate your cat into pouncing and jumping.
  • Cats lose interest quickly so keep a stash of new and interesting toys.
  • Walking your cat outdoors gives them fresh air but very little exercise.

Talk to Your Veterinarian

Before you commit your dog to a serious change in diet or a new exercise routine, discuss your plans with your vet. A veterinarian can recommend the best diet and examine your pet to make sure he’s ready for increased activity.

Contact Hebron Veterinary Hospital

If you’re interested in starting a new exercise routine with your pet, we’ll give you tips and recommendations on establishing the right pet exercise plan. Visit our contact page or call us at (860) 228-4324 if you want to know more.