Getting Healthy With Your Pet In 2016
It’s that time again where we look back at last year and set goals to improve ourselves in the coming year…you know….your New Year’s Resolution!! Of the 50% of people who make New Year’s Resolutions, it no surprise that 38% of those people vow to get healthy or lose weight in new year. But what about your furry friend? Could he or she stand to make some healthy changes or lose weight in the upcoming months?
As in humans, pets that are overweight can have significant health problems. Obesity in pets can lead to many diseases such as diabetes, IVDD, and urinary incontinence. It can also put extra stress on joints and hips leading to orthopedic issues such as ACL tears and hip displasia. Pets who are overweight have a shorter life expectancy as well.
Here are some tips to insure that your pet can get on the healthy track in 2016:
- Make sure your pet is on DOG OR CAT FOOD!! No table food!!!! Determine with your veterinarian what specific diet he or she should be eating.
- Feed the recommended amount ONLY! Buy a real measuring cup and begin keeping track of portions.
- Remove your pet from the room when the family eats to eliminate begging behavior.
- Reduce all treats and feed all meals in your pet’s bowl.
- Unless your pet has allergies, use fresh veggies like carrots or green beans for treats.
- Provide non-food related attention with lots of affection.
- Practice TOUGH LOVE! Dogs will often skip meals in hopes that their humans will put table food in with their dog food.
Exercise (for your pet and YOU!):
- Go for walks with your pet. Dog owners walk twice as much a week over non-dog owners.
- In our warm climate swimming is an excellent exercise and easy on the joints as well.
- Play fetch! So many toys to choose from! And if you don’t have one use a good old fashioned stick!
- Take your pet on Doggy Playdates! Schedule times with fellow pet owners for socialization and play time. Just make sure your pet and playmates are up to date on all vaccines.
And last but not least, keep track of your pet’s progress. Bring him in to your veterinarian’s office regularly for weight checks on the scale. Animal Care Center and Pet Care Center offer this service free of charge. Write it down and keep a record. Reward your pooch with a new toy when the two of you hit a goal!!
Here’s wishing you and your pets health and happiness in 2016!!