A recent survey revealed that 56% of dogs and 60% of cats were officially classified as overweight in the United States according to the Association for Pet Obesity Prevention. And when you add to the equation around 93.3 million American adults being classified as obese according to a report published by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, it really is time to take action.
Dogs can develop the same health issues as their human owners from being overweight such as diabetes, liver disease, osteoarthritis and increased risk of developing certain cancers. You protect your dogs by making sure they are properly vaccinated but you can expose them to serious health problems out of pure kindness by over-feeding them, as well as yourself. The good news is that you and your dog can shed that excess weight together through exercise.
Eat properly, eat healthy
The starting point for losing those pounds for you and your dog is your diet. Often pet owners share the same food they eat with their pet. And, whilst they may love you for it, generally, it is not good for them, as well as you. Review what you both eat, the type of food and more specifically the amount of food. You should plan a healthy well balanced food plan that includes proteins, carbohydrates and dietary fat. Studies agree that leading a healthy lifestyle, eating well and getting plenty of exercise can prolong your life expectancy. And, what works for you can work for your dog.
Walking, a great way to shed the pounds
Along with dietary changes, regular exercise is important for maintaining a healthy weight for you and your dog. Your dog makes the ideal exercise partner as he will always be there ready and willing to go out. And walking is one of the best forms of exercise for you both.
Studies show that you can burn off anything from 120 - 200 calories from 30 minutes of walking. The beauty of walking is you can do it as often and for as long as you like. And even if it is raining, you can buy a raincoat for you and your dog.
Add fun to your exercise routine
You can innovate exercise with your dog. For example, you can lie on the floor and do a sit-up and as you rise pretend to throw your dog's favorite toy. As he comes bounding back repeat the motion. You burn the abdominals and your pooch gets a good cardio workout. If you have a big garden, why not create an obstacle course that you can both race around. Try doing squats and tease him with his favorite toy. You will strengthen your core and he will burn off those excess calories.
Shedding those excess pounds can be hard work but, there is no reason why for you and your pooch it cannot also be really fun. Eat properly and exercise together and you can enjoy many healthy years together.