Obesity is one of the most concerning diseases of our time, both for humans and pets.
It is well recognised that carrying even a little excess weight can have negative implications on both physical health and mental well-being.
Our overweight four-legged friends are at greater risk of developing a number of serious health problems, including:
- Arthritis and reduced mobility
- Skin diseases
- Respiratory dysfunction
- A shortened life expectancy
A recent published report on dog obesity reported 59% of dogs were classified as overweight or obese, with another report stating fat dogs could die up to two-and-a-half years earlier than dogs of a healthy weight.
As we enter the New Year and many people are focusing on their own weight, what better time to ‘buddy up’ with your fur buddy and get fitter together.
Exercises you can do with your dog
- Go for a walk – a simple 1-hour walk can burn up to 250 calories for you and can de-stress your mind. Benefits for your dog include, stronger muscles and bones, mental stimulation, a cardiovascular workout, plus regular walks can reduce common behaviour problems
- Play a game – a game of tug of war with your dog, is not only a fun test of strength but a fun bonding game, and an ideal exercise when you don’t have time for a walk
- Do a Doga class, Doga is yoga for you and your dog
- Turn your dog walk into a total body workout – Check out 6 exercises that turn your dogs walk into a total body workout
Establish an exercise routine with your dog and they will soon learn when to expect an exercise session and even start to prompt you when it’s time.
A fun addition to your exercise regime could be to add a little competition between you and your dog, track your exercise against theirs and see who the winner is. I’m sure you are aware of the numerous activity trackers available on the market for humans, and for dogs we can recommend the Mishiko https://mishiko.io/en/
Exercises you can do with your cat
- Go for a walk – yes you can take your cat for a walk! Harness your cat up and take a stroll
- Build a cat tree – cats love to be high up, so build a tall structure for them to climb, there’s exercise in it for you and your cat will be able to climb, run and jump up and down it once its built
- Play a game – An interactive game with some string or wand/fishing style toy can be a great little exercise for both you and your cat
- Hide your cat’s food in different places around the house so they have to ‘hunt’ for it
Think you might need some help with your pet’s weight?
Research suggests that we pet owners are not always that great at identifying overweight in our pets. Despite more than half of pets being overweight, only 18% of us think our pet is one of them! Well, they say “love is blind” and maybe sometimes we could use some help to give us an honest appraisal. If you are unsure, let our team of online PawSquad vets help you. We can also help recommend an appropriate diet for your pet and get them started on a healthy weight loss programme, if needed. And we’ll be there along the way to offer support and guidance to ensure this is one New Year resolution you and your pet are sure to succeed at!
Our team of online vets can advise on;
- Breed associated health risks, including weight associated risks
- Exercises for older pets
- Low calorie and prescription foods available and their suitability for your pet
- Staying on track with your pet’s diet
- Treats: everyone loves a treat but it doesn’t have to be an unhealthy treat
Check out our new Personalised Health Assessments
Why not also take this opportunity to give your pet a full 360° health and well-being check-up with a PawSquad Personalised Health Assessment. This 30 minute vet assessment covers not just weight management but includes everything from breed, gender and age specific health risks, parasite control, vaccination recommendations and behavioural/emotional well-being. All personalised to your individual pet with a written Health Plan report to help keep you on track.
Speak to an online vet today about your pet’s weight
Book your Personalised Assessment and Health Plan call. Register for an account and select to book a call. If you are already registered simply login to your PawSquad dashboard to book your call.