Goals aren’t just for people! The start of a new year, for many of us, signifies a fresh start and a change to better bad habits. One of America’s most common resolutions is to lose weight. With over 60% of Americans categorized as overweight, it may come as no surprise that over 50% of pets are overweight as well! Data from PetMD, the nation’s largest pet health insurance provider, reveals that pet obesity is on the rise for the sixth straight year.
Excessive body fat increases risk of preventable health issues and can even shorten your pet’s life expectancy. Below are the top 10 dog and cat obesity related conditions:
Most Common Dog-Obesity Related Conditions
2. Bladder/Urinary Tract Disease
3. Low Thyroid Hormone Production
4. Liver Disease
5. Torn Knee Ligaments
7. Diseased Disc in the Spine
8. Chronic Kidney Disease
9. Heart Failure
10. Fatty Growth
Most Common Cat Obesity-Related Conditions
1. Bladder/Urinary Tract Disease
2. Chronic Kidney Disease
5. Liver Disease
7. High Blood Pressure
8. Heart Failure
9. Gall Bladder Disorder
10.Immobility of Spine
Now there is no better time to take your pet’s health seriously and commit to a new diet and exercise regimen for your pet. Here are some resolutions that will make 2017 your pet’s healthiest year yet:
- Try a New Activity With Your Pet
It is now easier than ever to incorporate your pet into a new exercise routine. Hiking, doga, kayaking, or walking are all great ways to bond, be social, and reap rewards of healthy physical activity for the both of you!
- Measure Your Pet’s Food, Every Time
Many owners “eyeball” their pet’s daily food, which can result in overfeeding and weight gain. To ensure your pet isn’t taking in too many calories, it’s important to always use a measuring cup, which happen to be available at the Barkery!
- Choose an Age-Appropriate Diet
Growing pets have specific nutrient requirements throughout their lifespan. Depending on your pet’s specific needs, the diet you choose should correlate with his or her life stage to keep them in optimal health. We would be happy to help you evaluate your pet’s diet and needs the next time you stop in.
- Incorporate More Playtime Into Your Routine
Cats and many dogs love the thrill of chasing a laser beam – just don’t tell them it’s exercise! Toys that trigger your pet’s predatory instinct are a great way to get their heart rate up with some aerobic activity. Brookside Barkery has a large toy selection, and our holiday themed toys are now 75% off.
- Take More Car Rides
Getting your pets accustomed to car rides can have lasting benefits for you as a pet owner, and are also a great way to introduce your pet to new scenery, especially when it’s cold outside.
- Groom Your Pet Daily
Brushing your pet removes excess fur, reducing the amount found on your clothes and furniture. It also helps distribute the oils from the skin to the fur, to keep their coat shiny and healthy. The Spa at the Barkery can help you find the perfect brush for your pet’s coat.
- Practice Good Oral Hygiene
Brushing your pet’s teeth daily is the best way to keep tartar and plaque at a minimum, but be sure to use a toothpaste for dogs and cats. At the Barkery, we have many helpful products to help with your pet’s dental hygiene, including dental treats, plaque powder, and oral cleansing wipes.
- Teach Your Dog New Tricks
Keeping your pet’s mind engaged through mental stimulation can actually help reduce cognitive deterioration in aging animals. Teaching your pet new tricks or practicing old ones are a simple way to keep your pet’s mind sharp.