Pet Health Tips

Imagine what your dog’s life would be like if he was out in the wild. He would be travelling each day, climbing hills, hunting, and chasing his own food. What about your cat? She would be hunting for prey, clawing her way up tall trees, and chasing every moving object that came into view. Now think of what your pet’s daily life is like with you. If you are like most pet owners, your dog or cat lives a sedentary lifestyle–much like you do. Your dog may move from the couch to the floor to his bed in a day, but for many animals, especially indoor pets, that’s about it. Many cats tend to sit in at the window all day long, but that does not help them stay active. An astounding number of pets suffer from obesity, and getting an animal back in shape may seem like a daunting task. We offer a few tips for how to get little Fido or Fluffy healthy that just might help you lose weight along the way.

Regulate Their Diet

Do you measure out food for your dog each day, or have you done any research about the ingredients in the cat food you use? Many pet owners are guilty of simply filling their pet’s bowl each day, without looking at recommended serving sizes for their pet’s height and breed. Small animals need surprisingly few calories each day, if they are adults with a low activity level. Do not simply reduce your dog or cat’s serving sizes on a whim. Consult your vet and check out the handy guides available through most pet food manufacturers to give them the right amount of food. Also, look up the contents of your pet’s food online. Some brands make food that is largely made of fillers. Animals will overeat to get the proper amount of nutrients. Pet foods that have higher protein, for instance, will be much more filling than one made with large amounts of corn. This might help your animal eat less.

No More Table Scraps

Most dog or cat foods offer a balanced diet. When you give your dog or cat human food in addition to their pet food, you are likely contributing to their weight problems. Think about the scraps you may be giving your dog. Are they fatty bits of the meat you are eating or a sweet piece of a cookie? If you hesitate about giving your dog such foods while implementing a new pet diet, extend that reasoning to yourself. Your pet’s diet could actually help you get in better shape.

Run for It

Adding activity to your pet’s daily routine is one of the best ways to get him or her in shape. This could be as simple as a few games of fetch down the hallway in winter, but it is best to opt for long walks, runs, or trips to the dog park. Getting your dog in shape can help with multiple problems. Dogs get bored and act out with destructive behaviors like excessive chewing. Tiring your energetic pup out is a great way to calm them down. Exercising your pet has the added benefit of helping you work out, too.

Go On a Diet

If you begin a diet yourself, you may become more conscious of your pet’s habits. Thinking about nutrition in your own life can help you make better choices for the foods that your pet consumes. Human diets that focus on healthy eating and important nutrients will help you realize how much attention you should pay to healthy eating. You can easily extend that reasoning to your pet. After all, dieting is more fun with a buddy–even if they are small and furry.

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This is a guest post by Lilly Sheperd, a freelance journalist and blogger, mainly interested in health-related topics. When not blogging she likes to play Netball with her friends and try to get in shape until the summer with Superfood diet. Click if you like to learn more about the diet.

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