Exercise is important no matter who, or what you are. This is even the case for our pets. Especially dogs and puppies. Our pets often reflect our own lifestyle. As such, if we aren’t active enough ourselves, our pets can often become overweight, or unhealthy. In this case, it can be vital to help them lose some weight in order to maintain a healthy body composition. After all, we want our four-legged-friends to stick around with us for as long as possible. Keeping them at a healthy weight for their build and frame is integral to avoiding and preventing further health complications that can become detrimental and even fatal.
When working on reducing a pet’s weight, exercise and nutrition are the two largest and most influential factors that need to be considered. In this way, it’s on the owner of the pet to research and understand the different weight management tactics, nutritional and exercise needs of their specific dog.
These needs vary from breed to breed and from puppy to puppy, so being knowledgeable about your pet and their individual needs will help you create a plan that keeps them at a healthy weight for the full length of their lives.
Visiting the Vet Regularly
Before taking any drastic measure, putting your pet on a diet, or even increasing their exercise regimen, it’s a good idea to start with a visit to the vet. Regular veterinarian visits are a good way to keep a tab on your pet’s health throughout the course of the year. Just like we need to visit the doctor on occasion for a normal check-up, our pets do too.
A visit to the vet is also a good idea because it can help give you an idea of where your pet is at, compared to where it should be. Having this information can help inform your plan moving forward, if one is even needed. You may find out that you have a larger breed of dog than you thought, and they are actually perfectly healthy for their frame, build, and breed.
If this isn’t the case, though, and your pet does need a little bit of help shedding some extra pounds, the vet can still provide you with good and credible information. This information can range on topics that include good diet programs or brands of food for the pet to try, to exercise routines that you can integrate into your daily life to promote the health of your pet.
Setting Goals and Tracking Progress
No matter what’s going on, if nutrition, fitness, and wellness are involved, tracking is always your friend. This is the case whether you’re trying to lose weight yourself, or if you’re trying to add on muscle mass. This same philosophy also applies to any programs you may want to put your pets or other loved ones on, as well. When it comes to fitness and nutrition, it all comes down to a numbers game, essentially. As such, if you’re having trouble managing your pets weight and keeping them healthy, writing down your plan, and tracking the actual progress you make toward goals can be extremely rewarding and fulfilling. Not to mention, it will help you remain accountable to yourself, and your pet.
There is also a lot of satisfaction that stems from setting and reaching goals. Helping your pet shed some pounds to maintain a healthy living weight is sure to bring a level of happiness and joy into your home.
When Portion Control Comes Into Play
Another good device that can be used in concert with a regular exercise routine is actually something called portion control. This is also a calorie-management tactic that works for humans and the pet-owners as well. Portion control is all about calorie-intake-management.
In most cases, losing weight comes down to achieving a calorie-deficit in your day-to-day-life. This simply means that you’re consuming fewer calories than you burn on any given day. Doing this regularly eventually leads to weight loss.
Getting in Walks, Runs, and Other Activities
Finally, there are plenty of good exercise routines that you can get into with your furry-friend. Slapping on a dog-leash and walking or running with your pet are two of the best activities that an owner can engage in alongside their pet. This gives the pet a chance to stretch their legs and smell the world around them, and gives the owner an additional chance to spend time and bond with their pet.
These aren’t the only two activities that keep dogs active and help them burn off calories though. You can also play fetch with your dog, take them to the local parks and walk the trails, or even play tug-of-war with them.
No matter how your pet likes to play, it’s good for them, and their weight, to burn off their energy during the day.