Is Your Dog Getting Enough Exercise?

Does Spot seem to be sporting quite a belly these days? As a dog owner, it can be very easy not to realize a decline in your pet’s health until the damage is already done. Obesity is a very becoming a very real concern for pets and it’s up to us pet owners to do something about it. This article is going to discuss a few tips for recognizing obesity in your dog and how you can help get him back into shape.

You must realize that all dogs require exercise. Whether you have a Pomeranian or a Great Dane, every breed and size of dog must maintain certain levels of activity on a daily basis. Think about your dog’s average day from beginning to finish. If you can’t bring it to mind, keep an eye on him for a few days and write down his usual activities. For my dog, I drew a time line of his average day. In my timeline I wrote down when he woke up, his meal times, his usual trips outside, nap times, etc. This really helps to put into perspective whether your dog is truly lacking exercise or if a change of diet is required.

One important thing to consider is this: does your dog get to spend regular time outdoors aside from potty breaks? If not, this could be a huge clue as to why your dog might not be looking as lean as he ought to be. Dogs love to be outside—it’s natural for them and it’s a good inspiration to be active. If you haven’t been able to take your dog outside in the past, set time aside for him or arrange for a friend or family member to do let him out several times throughout the day. Try to get involved with him when he’s outdoors to encourage him to move around. Throwing his favourite ball or toy around is great, as is a quick jog around the yard. If you aren’t in the best of shape yourself, you and your dog could go to a dog park or on walking trails and both of you can reap the health benefits of walking. This is also great for strengthening the relationship between you and your dog. You can even try getting a set of pet steps to train your dog on. Not only will he get a great workout from going up and down the steps, but being proactive will boost his happiness and confidence.

After you have made your assessment of your dog’s activity level, you might be surprised to find that he gets sufficient exercise but still doesn’t seem to be as lean as he should be. This is a very common scenario among people who feed their dog table scraps or gets a bit too liberal with the doggy treats. Regardless of the fact that human food is a lot more fattening to dogs, it’s also down-right unhealthy for them. A dog’s diet should consist primarily of meat, raw vegetables, and certain types of grain. Could you imagine a dog in the wild snarfing down some spaghetti? If you are guilty of feeding your dog human food—as most of us are—try to cut back on that altogether. If you don’t notice a difference in your dog’s weight, switching to a name brand kibble specifically designed for overweight dogs may be the right solution.

If you have any worries that your dog’s health might be in jeopardy, it’s best to consult with a veterinarian. There could be underlying health issues causing a shift in your dog’s weight, or numerous other possibilities.

For more great information about caring properly for a dog, or to buy a durable set of dog stairs, please visit Help Your Pets.

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