Today is National Pet Obesity Awareness Day in America. Over half of the pet population in the U.S. are overweight. There are some simple steps you can take to maintain proper weight in your pet, which lead to tremendous benefits.
It’s so easy to let your pet and your own weight management go out the window. Your 40 hour work week, your physical and/or mental limitations, your schedule and agenda, your life demands, sometimes leave you with little room for anything else to accomplish; like talking your dog for a walk.
But there are some really simple things you can do. Even if you are couch-bound after a long day at work; grab a toy and play with your cat. Throw a ball over your shoulder for your dog to chase after. Engaging your pet in exercise does not necessarily mean you have to awkwardly put your jogging pants on and run a quarter-mile with them. Take your dog for a casual stroll around your neighborhood. Even 10 to 15 minuets of walking is beneficial to your pets health and your own.
Better yet; make it fun. There are many canine toys on the market that help to stimulate your dogs mind. Try giving them a puzzle to solve while keeping their legs moving. However try to avoid games that include treats; like Kong’s. This would be counter-productive to keeping your pets weight in line. Cats as well, can be stimulated by sound. Strumming your fingers on a table nearby or crumpling up a ball of paper for them to chase, is also a super easy way to get your cat interested and potentially active.
For some owners, it is hard to get their animal intrigued at anything at all. Some owners have the Garfield cat or the Snoopy dog that just lays around all day. This can be changed. Your pet is most likely used to the idea of not having to be active. So if at first, your pet doesn’t pounce at your new idea; try, try again. Eventually your pet will understand that you are attempting to make a change in the day’s program.
In the case where a person may be disabled and unable to provide a pet with adequate exercise, there are many websites such as care.com and petsitter, that offer pet services for a fee. You can set your own price and create your own ad, for someone in your area to come and exercise your pet for you.
There are so many advantages to keeping your pet active. Not only is it healthy for them- it is also healthy for you. Many cats, dogs, birds, horses, etc have a tendency to act out when not properly exercised. Certain health issues may develop as well, such as diabetes, high blood pressure, and other illnesses that could cost your pet their life. Having a healthier animal means less trips to the vet, lower food bills, and more. To find out more information on pet obesity and things that you can do to right now to have a more active pet, click here.
If you already keep your pet active; then a big round of applause to you. Although pet food manufacturers may not like the idea of less treats; your pets do. Keep up the good work!