Pet Obesity and Exercise

Fat cats risk joint disease

Modern pets are becoming sedentary, overweight and obese. Are our animal family members at risk because of our lifestyle habits?

Imagine for a moment – it’s springtime. A time when many people brush the dust off their runners or hiking boots and start enjoying the beautiful weather by getting some exercise. Accompanying them may be their four-legged companions. But is your deconditioned pet at risk from exercise-induced joint stress?

Exercise and fresh air are terrific for both two and four-legged individuals, but both should be cautious not to overdo it or start out too quickly when beginning a new exercise regime. Poor physical body condition and obesity are growing concerns in veterinary medicine. A large percentage of our canine and feline patients are overweight, even obese.

Good nutrition, veterinary care and regular, safe exercise are the cornerstones for our pet’s ability to achieve and maintain a healthy weight and lifestyle.

Like humans, pet obesity not only contributes to joint disease and decreased physical activity, it affects organ health and can also leave animals prone to sudden injuries during exercise.

Before starting a new exercise routine with your pet, consult with your veterinarian. Here are some important questions to ask:

  • How is your pet’s body condition?
  • What should it’s optimum weight be?
  • What diets/foods can help your pet not just survive, but thrive?
  • What recommended exercises would be enjoyable and safe for your pet?

So before tackling the Grouse Grind or bringing Spot along on your 10 km run, take a minute to plan. Speak to your veterinary team, including a veterinary assistant, about the safest and most enjoyable way for your pet to enjoy this amazing spring weather!

Here are some great Dog-Off-Leash Areas for you and your canine friends to explore and exercise at this summer.

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