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Exercising your pets? It depends…

Do you exercise on a regular basis? If you do, way to go! Physical fitness is essential for a long and healthy life, the same goes for exercising your pets. Even cats need exercise, especially now that obesity in domestic cats and dogs is on the rise. In a 2010 study on canine obesity, only 35% of dogs were considered to be “normal” weight. Of the remainder, 5% were underweight and a full 60% were classified as overweight or obese. The numbers for cats and humans are similar.” See the remarkable story of Skinny the 42 lb cat who lost… (more)

Exercising pets
It is a common misconception that since many animals are built to run, they can jump right into it. However, just like us, dogs and cats need to work up to being fit, where to start depends on fitness level. Before exercising your pets, take a trip to the vet where body condition and overall health will be assessed. Getting a medical OK can rule out hidden underlying conditions that may cause problems later. For instance, pets suffer from arthritis, they have joint and muscle aches just like humans. Plus, if they carry extra weight, like the 60% of the subjects in that study, it puts additional strain on their joints. Unfortunately, animals are very good at hiding pain and discomfort, it’s a survival instinct. So even a short run with stiff muscles may be too much but Fido can’t verbalize that. Get a medical check up then find an exercise routine that fits your level starting slowly and advancing with improvement.

Hiking is a popular exercise people do with their dogs. It’s a fabulous way for both of you to stay in shape but there are some things to consider before setting off in that direction with your pup:

With cooler weather on it’s way, you will be enjoying the outdoors exercising your pets. Let’s make the most of it for everyone’s benefit!

Next Article: 5 Safety Tips For Pets in Winter

Is Your Pet Part of the Obesity Epidemic?

The obesity epidemic in America has unfortunately passed on to our pets. According to Karen Becker, DVM,  between 30 to 40 percent of U.S. pets are too heavy, and 25 percent are obese. The Association for Pet Obesity Prevention (APOP) has created a list of ideal pet weight ranges based on breed as well as guidelines for caloric intake. Janet Tobiassen Crosby, DVM offers 7 ways to tell of your pet is fat. Your veterinarian can also help you determine if your furry loved one is obese and may prescribe a weight reducing diet. Exercise is a beneficial part of a weight loss plan, walking your dog every other day or so will help you get in shape as well. Cat toys that allow kitty to jump and run are a good source of activity. Some cats will play fetch, and some will even walk outside on a leash!

For more information on pet obesity, Patty Khuly, DVM discusses giving your pet the gift of proper weight.

obesity

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