Believe it or not, an estimated 52.7% of dogs in the United States are overweight or obese. October 7th’s National Pet ObesityDay is approaching and now is the “paw-fect” time to address this unfortunate epidemic. Obesity shortens lives and will negatively impact your dog’s overall health, wellness and happiness. Although in North America obesity is the most common disease in pets, the good news is that it is preventable. Here are 5 ways to help prevent pet obesity in our canine companions.
And also don’t forget to join the Fit Pet Challenge!
1) Feed Less
Each dog has a different body and activity levels, all of which need to be considered when setting the pace on diet. Although there are guidelines on the pet food bags, it’s important for you to experiment with your dog to find out what is best for him or her. Some dogs regulate their intake well, while others eat everything in sight! It’s best to feed scheduled meals rather than free feeding. It’s important you have full control over the amount of food your dog eats. If your pup still seems hungry after mealtime, share a few steamed green beans, carrots or fresh blueberries with him. Avoid sharing unhealthy table scraps. The extra calories and decreased nutritional value of treats and table scraps are often the biggest offenders when it comes to weight control.
2) Walk More
Grab the leash and get moving! Walking is the easiest, cheapest, most convenient and most popular way to keep Fido happy, healthy and fit. Pet owners must make it a daily routine to walk. It is absolutely essential for both their physical and mental health. As they say, a tired dog truly is a well-behaved dog. Neglecting those daily walks can led to destructive mischief in the home. Imagine how bored you would be stuck in the house all day long. Whether you take a circle around the block or trek through the woods, focus on maintaining a good, steady pace. In the end, both dogs and their owner benefit from the physical activity!
Few things in this world get a dog more excited than playtime! Make sure to set time aside each day to have your pet play. Not only is playtime with your pooch important for establishing a close bond; but once again, it is vital for a dog’s development, mental and physical stimulation. While your pet is moving around he or she is burning off calories and working out muscles and joints. For dogs who are social, scheduling weekly play dates at the local dog park is a great way to get your pup moving and grooving with other fur-friends. Whether you’re fetching, tossing a toy, tug-of-war, or romping around on the floor, playtime is much more than just plain fun!
4) Monitor With Hachiko
Monitoring your pet is a crucial step in maintaining health and proper weight. Unfortunately, with our busy lives and work schedules this is not always possible. Thankfully, with the new Hachiko Canine Fitness Monitor, pet owners have the unique opportunity to connect with their pets like never before! In today’s society, most pet families hire pet sitters to care for their beloved furry friend. This sensor and app will allow owner to always know their pooch is taken care of. With Hachiko, you can set exercise goals, and view where and how far your dog walked. Users can receive expert advice and information on their pet’s activity, which will motivate pet parents to continue giving Fido a healthy lifestyle. Monitor how much food, water and treats your dog gets daily, as well as monitor their health and medication. Hachiko is simple and fun way to stay on top of Fido’s weight and activity each and everyday!
Taking your dog to the corner to do their business is not considered a workout. Jogging, hiking, swimming or simply playing in the backyard are the best ways to workout with your pup. Running is a great activity to do together for cardio, but always be sure your dog has enough energy to withstand a long run. Do not push your pooch to do something he or she is not capable of. With the fall season in full swing and the winter months approaching, it’s important to continue engaging your dog indoors. Climb the stairs or play hide and seek! Do your best to provide at least 30 minutes of brisk exercise every day to facilitate weight loss.
Remember pet parents: eat less, exercise more, and monitor with Hachiko! Pet obesity is preventable. Follow these steps and the outcome will be a win-win for both you and Fido. It’s that simple!