October 11th is Pet Obesity Awareness Day. We all love to spoil our Fat Cats and Big Boys, but it’s important to make sure they are happy and healthy. Here are 10 easy tips to make sure your pets are living their best lives with you!
Does Fido Really NEED that pizza bone?
Unlike people, who can choose for themselves, our pets depend on us to make smart choices for them. We have to be sure that we’re choosing healthy foods and treats for our pets! This can mean cutting back on “table scraps” or simply buying them a more high quality treat / food regimen!
Ask the Pro’s
All the tips in the world from the internet won’t do you or your pet any good if they’re not seeing their veterinarian on a regular basis. Cats and dogs especially have needs that we can’t always anticipate. If you suspect your pet is overweight, the best thing to do is to consult your veterinarian and let them help you design a diet and exercise plan specific to your pet and their needs!
Hit the Trails
Do you like to spend time outdoors? There are a lot of places, especially in Tucson, where you can get some great exercise with your pets. If your pet is not accustomed to a leash that can be an excellent way to get them moving and teach them a new skill!
Find Some Furry Friends
Does your pet have any furry friends? If not, maybe it’s time to help get them moving and active by introducing them to some appropriate playmates. Most animals do much better in terms of health and mental agility when they have interactions with other furry friends! This can also be a great way for you to make new friends!
Just like you and I do best when we have a consistent routine, the same is true for your pets! The first step to a healthy lifestyle can sometimes be as easy as a healthy routine. If you can stick with it for a week, chances are, you can make it work long term! Get up at the same time, do feedings and training sessions at the same time, etc.
It’s Not Too Late
Sometimes we look down and realize that our pets are ill equipped for a healthy lifestyle. They might not be the best at getting along with others, they might not like house guests, and maybe you can only get them to eat the stuff that isn’t great for them. The good news is that it’s not too late! You can turn these behaviors around with some consistency, patience, and training. Choose one thing and work on it until it’s fixed! This can be a great way to build the bond between you and your pets and a great step towards making sure they’re living their best life!
Learn Something New
Think about this, when we get excited about something new we’re more active, happy, and engaged. The same is true for our furry friends. Don’t let them sit idle just because they’re an adult now! Get them learning. The truth of the matter is that you absolutely can teach old or older dogs new tricks! Stimulating them mentally will help you engage with them on a level that they crave and it will inspire them to be more active, happy, and healthy overall.
Put Down The Phone
How often do you sit in the same room with your pet and you are on your phone? They notice! They’d much rather have you engaged with them in some way. This tip is good for both of you…put down that phone. Schedule some time if you have too, check out so you can check in with your pets! They’ll enjoy the one on one time and your eyes and brain will thank you for the break from the screens.
Find Ways to Destress
Stress can take a toll on humans and the same is true for our pets. Stress can lead to shorter life expectancy and even death in otherwise healthy animals. Much like in humans, stress tends to age us, dogs already live short lives…so let’s not add to that with stress! If your dog or cat has anxiety problems, get those resolved as quickly as possible and remember, a tired dog is a good dog. You’d be surprised how many anxiety problems can be solved with exercise…both for you and your pet!
Saying “No” Is Okay
Saying “no” to excessive treats or options that are less than healthy is okay! Your dog will learn to respond to added affection, praise, and healthy treats. It can take time but it’s important to remember that saying “no” in the case of your pets can be the most loving thing you can do for them!