Just like humans, overweight pets are more likely to develop diabetes, osteoarthritis, high blood pressure, heart disease, joint injuries, and cancer. According to the Association for Pet Obesity Prevention, 60% of cats and 56% of dogs in the U.S. are overweight.
So now that you have the stats, here are some tips to help you and your favorite four-legged workout partner get fit together:
- Measure your pet’s food to make sure you’re not overfeeding
- Try interval walking/jogging with your dog instead of just a simple walk. You’ll both burn more calories, and it makes the walk more interesting for your pet.
- Play hide & seek with your dog. Put him in a “sit/stay”, hide somewhere in the house, then call your dog to you. Reward with small treats and praise when he finds you.
- Spread meals out throughout the day (but make sure the total amount fed for the day is the correct amount).
- Instead of a game of fetch, play “catch me” with your dog, rewarding him with the ball when he tags you.
- Try agility! This obstacle-course-based activity is hugely fun for dogs and is quite a workout for their owners as well.
- Use a treat puzzle for dogs, or place treats high up on a cat tree
- Cats like to hunt before they eat. Have your cat chase a string toy around the house a few minutes before meals.
We can help you with pet weight management and answer any questions you have about activity and exercise—just give us a call at (404) 255-8522.