Healthy ways to keep your pet in shape

As pet owners, ensuring the health and well-being of our furry companions is a top priority. Just like humans, pets need regular exercise and a balanced diet to stay in good shape and maintain optimal health. Finding healthy ways to keep your pet in shape promotes their physical fitness and well-being, enhancing their quality of life and strengthening your bond as pet and owner.

Healthy habits start with understanding the importance of maintaining a proper weight, diet, and exercise routine for our pets. Unfortunately, pet obesity is on the rise in Australia, with nearly half of our dogs and a third of our cats tipping the scales towards overweight or obese territory. This trend not only affects their quality of life but can also lead to serious health issues, including a reduced life expectancy, heat stroke, diabetes, arthritis, and even cancer.

Here are some essential tips to help you ensure that your pet stays in top shape:

Regular Exercise

Exercise is key to keeping your pet in shape and preventing obesity-related health issues. Dogs, for instance, need daily walks or runs to maintain a healthy weight and stimulate their minds. Set aside time each day for activities such as playing fetch, going for a walk, or even swimming if your pet enjoys it. For indoor pets like cats, provide toys that encourage activity and play, such as balls or feather wands.

Enrichment Activities

Incorporate enrichment activities into your pet’s daily routine to keep them mentally stimulated and physically active. Puzzle toys, food-dispensing toys, and agility courses are great ways to engage your pet’s mind and body. These activities not only provide physical exercise but also prevent boredom and destructive behaviours.

Balanced Diet

A nutritious diet is essential for maintaining your pet’s overall health and weight. Consult with your local Vetmed veterinarian to determine the appropriate type and amount of food for your pet based on factors such as age, weight, and activity level. Avoid overfeeding and limit treats to prevent excessive calorie intake. Additionally, provide fresh water at all times to keep your pet hydrated, especially during exercise.

Monitoring Weight

Regularly monitor your pet’s weight and body condition to ensure they are staying in shape. Drop into one of our locations to use the scales and consult with your local Vetmed veterinarian for accurate measurements. If you notice your pet gaining or losing weight unexpectedly, adjust their diet and exercise routine accordingly. Remember, prevention is key when it comes to obesity-related health issues in pets.

Veterinary Check-ups

Schedule regular check-ups with your local Vetmed veterinarian to assess your pet’s overall health and address any concerns. Your vet can provide personalised recommendations for keeping your pet in shape based on their individual needs and health status. They can also screen for any underlying health conditions that may affect your pet’s weight and mobility.

Keeping your pet in shape requires a combination of regular exercise, a balanced diet, mental stimulation, and routine veterinary care. By incorporating these healthy habits into your pet’s daily routine, you can help them maintain a healthy weight, prevent obesity-related health issues, and ensure they live a long and happy life by your side. Remember, a healthy pet is a happy pet!

At Vetmed, we are always here to help and provide you with all the information you need to make an informed decision when it comes to the health and well-being of your pet. Vetmed offers comprehensive pet care services, with four clinic locations across the Eastern Suburbs and the Northern Beaches, including Lindfield, Randwick, Forestville, and Northbridge.