I am always excited when I can talk about pet wellness and ways to make our furkids happy and healthy from the inside out. In my opinion pet health and happiness boils down to four things. Exercise! Nutrition! Proactive healthcare! and LOVE!!! Yes, exclamation points are necessary!
Like many of you, we are that family that walks our dogs (and a baby in a stroller) in most weather, monitor our dogs weight more than our own and make sure that what goes in their bowl is as nutritious as possible. Ok, my son does throw Abe and Chico an occasional “no, no” from his high chair…but we try.
So, here is the run down:
1. Exercise: Believe it or not the 2012 National Pet Obesity Survey found that over 52% of dogs are overweight or obese and over 58% of cats in the United States. This means nearly 80 million pets in America are FAT!
All pets need exercise- the easiest way is to get MOVING with your pet! And as our friends at Dogtread.com say: Move that MUTT! We say….Move your Mutt and YOUR butt 🙂 Most dogs don’t get enough exercise due to our tight schedules so maximize your time with your dog. Use a ball launcher or exercise vest to help your pooch burn more calories and don’t underestimate the power of water workouts and agility.
Always start slowly with any new work out routine and gradually increase time and activity level. Make sure you ask your veterinarian if you have any concerns about your dog’s ability to get active!
2. Proactive Healthcare: See the vet yearly! Being preventative is the best medicine. A yearly wellness visit may identify problems early on. Also, make sure your pet is taking supplements appropriately and stretching prior to any exercise. We learned this the hard way after our dog Abe had to undergo CCL surgery. Dogtread.com has great stretching recommendations and most importantly, always begin any exercise with a 5-10 minute light walk.
3. Nutrition: Is the cornerstone to health. Look for Made in the USA ingredients such as Scout and Zoe’s USA made and sourced chicken jerky. This really hits home after the most recent FDA warnings on jerky made in China. Feeding an all natural diet with nutritious ingredients is essential. And measuring your pet’s food is key to a trim waistline! Not sure which food to feed. Visit Dog Food Advisor to compare your brand.
4. Love: Make sure to love your pet everyday and get those endorphins working over time in both them and you. It is proven that when you pet your dog, endorphins are released in their body…making them feel really awesome! Like we need another excuse to love on our dogs 🙂
Join me at PetsMove.org and track your pet’s food intake, exercise and well being. We can keep each other on track and make sure our pets are as happy and HEALTHY as possible! Join the Pack Moms team!
Have fun with your pets and make sure to get out there and MOVE!