According to the Chartered Society of Physiotherapy, pet owners may be killing their pet with kindness! Owners just can't say no when their pet looks at them with pleading eyes, begging for food! Pet obesity has increased in the last 3 years, so here is a few tips to keep your pet healthy!

Keeping trim

A healthy pet should have a clearly defined waist, with no more than a quarter of an inch of fat visible over the ribcage. Customers should carefully follow the feeding instructions on the pets’ food, and if giving them a treat, this should be healthy or part of their daily food ration.

Play is important

Instead of giving animals treats, owners should spend time or play with their pets, as they will appreciate the attention far more than the extra food. Active play should be encouraged – cats like chasing a ball of wool or a feather, while dogs like seeking games where they hunt for a toy or a low-calorie treat.

Walking works wonders

All pets need regular exercise. For dogs, short, frequent walks are an excellent way to shift excess weight and can help owners to get in shape too. They should aim for a minimum of 30 minutes a day, which can be split into two or three walks if the dog is unfit or suffering from health problems. A chartered veterinary physiotherapist should be consulted before starting a new exercise regime, particularly if the animal has an existing health condition.

Simple exercises

To keep the dog in tip-top shape, a toy should be used to encourage dogs to look slowly left and right while standing still. This will improve their co-ordination and general strength. If a dog gets muddy paws, another good exercise is to towel dry each leg in turn, with the owner asking the dog to remain standing on three legs, as this helps improve balance.

Get expert advice

If owners are concerned that their pets’ weight may be affecting their health or mobility, they should speak to a vet about a referral to an ACPAT physio.

Source : Pet Gazette

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