Although many of us create fitness related New Year’s resolutions, we naturally tend to be a bit more lethargic during the colder winter months and as a result, so can our furry friends. When we become less active, our loyal sidekicks tend to do the same; without regular walks and maybe a bit more table feeding, it’s easy to add not only to our own weight, but also our pets.
With 52.6% of pets already overweight, according to The Association for Pet Obesity Prevention it is important to ensure we are doing our best to get our pets back on track as much as we try to manage our own health by sticking to 2016 resolutions.
To help prevent pet obesity and get your readers motivated to get fit with Fido, Heidi Ganahl, CEO and Founder of Camp Bow Wow, the nation’s largest pet care franchise, has created a series of useful tips to help keep your dog at a healthy weight.
Signs to Indicate Your Pet is Overweight
· Pet tires easily
· Difficulty getting up from lying down
· Visually, there is a lack of a waist line and you are unable to feel the ribs of your pet easily
· Breathing problems
· High blood pressure
· Heart and respiratory disease
Human Foods and Dog Treats That Can Quickly Lead to Pet Obesity
· Treats should make up no more than 10% of your dog’s daily calories. Excessive amounts of dog treats, especially those that are low quality and have a high calorie intake, are not beneficial for your pet.
· Snacks like potato chips and other junk food, or more commonly cheese and peanut butter (which are frequently used to conceal medicines) are quick ways to pack the pounds on your dog
· Pig ears and other items high in fat
Tips For Getting Your Pet in Shape
· Set responsible goals that will become a daily routine
· Invite a neighbor dog (one that likes to play) to come over for a “play-date” to encourage them to be more active
· Take your dog on a hike –great cardio and muscle-building activity for both pet and owner
· Schedule a nightly walk with one of your friends who has a dog so both you and your dog have company
· Take your dog to pet-friendly stores with you for extra exercise
· Camp Bow Wow/dog daycare, Home Buddies dog walker
· Sign up for a run/walk (5K) that allows pets to stay active with your furry friend
· Cut down on treats for your dog (find treats that are all natural and have healthy ingredients)
· Feed your dog the recommended amount indicated on their food bag and ensure you measure it out with a proper measuring cup.
· Feed your dog two meals a day instead of leaving their food bowl out. It is harder to track how much they eat if you just leave it out for them.
· Consult with your local Veterinarian on nutrition