Studies have shown that the average weight of domestic pets has gradually increased over the past decades. There is some debate about why this is happening, but there is little doubt that it is not good for our pets.
Overweight pets have increased susceptibility to a host of diseases: diabetes, heart disease, osteoarthritis, to name a few. Life spans for overweight pets are shorter. Also, veterinarians agree that the quality of life of an overweight, unfit, pet is poorer than that of his fit counterpart.
Here are some tips to help maintain the health and fitness of your dog:
Establish a target. First and foremost, set goals. Meet with your veterinarian to figure out what your pet’s target weight range is. Also, discuss the level of activity that will keep your pet healthy.
Keep it regular. Regularity in an exercise routine is what most fitness trainers aim for with their clients because they know that it is probably the most important predictor of fitness in the future. Mastering the actual exercises and establishing the right mix will happen, but incorporating “fitness time” into your lifestyle is the crucial component.
It’s the same with your dog’s fitness routine. Kill two birds with one stone by merging a part of your fitness routine with that of your dog.
Moderation. Moderation in your dog’s fitness routine allows him to keep exercising and prevents overuse injury. You may consider discussing this with your veterinarian. Also, keep an eye on your dog — if he seems particularly tired at the end of the day, tone it down a little.
Proper diet with lots of water. A healthy, balanced diet is important. A number of pet foods are high in fat. It will probably be worth your while to discuss specifics with your veterinarian. Remember that diets change with age. Large breed dog owners, in particular, must be careful to feed the correct diet during their pup’s growth phase.
Clean, cool water should always be available to your dog. This is particularly true after exercise.
Maintain weight. Recommendations on food packaging, at times, are set too high, so feel free to adjust these based on your dog’s body condition. Also, as he ages, you will need to reduce his portions.
Treats are a major contributor to weight gain in pets. It is best to make treats just that – a treat. You will need to educate your family about this, too.
Joint Health. Caring for your dog’s joints is an important part of regular, long-term care. Keeping your dog at a healthy weight by managing your pet’s diet and exercise regime is one of the most important things you can do to help prevent arthritis, since too much weight can put unnecessary strain on your dog’s joints.
In addition to a healthy diet and regular exercise, your can also give your dog a joint health supplement, such as Supleneo flex.
Supleneo flex is a daily supplement, which is suitable for all breeds, sizes and ages of dog and contains the key ingredients that can improve joint health, such as glucosamine. In addition, Supleneo flex’s natural liver flavour means dogs love the taste, making it’s easy and fun to give them their supplement every day. It is low calorie, so you can give it to your dog, instead of a treat.
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Safety first. Try to keep your pet’s activities within moderation. Keep him away from situations that can get out of control, such as excessive running around in hot weather – this can lead to dangerous heat stroke. Any injuries should be treated promptly as if they are left untreated, they can lead to chronic problems.
Keep records. Maintaining a proper weight is a lot easier if you maintain regular records. The quicker you detect the tendency towards weight gain, the smaller and easier are the changes you’ll need to make in your pet’s lifestyle and diet to keep him lean and healthy.
Partner up. Plan your outdoor exercise along with a friend. This is a great way to maintain continuity. Besides being more fun, there will be days when you “pull her along”, and vice-versa. Your dog will also find it more interesting with a companion in tow.
And finally, don’t forget to have fun! If you’re not enjoying exercising your dog, try a different activity or even a different place. If it’s boring going for a walk along a suburban street, perhaps you can visit the seashore or a nice forest trail. If you’re having fun, you’re more likely to stick to the program, which will have the best outcome for both you and your dog.
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