Posted 19th Jan 2016
The British Veterinary Association is offering advice on how to avoid an expanding waistline by getting fit with your pet
Pet obesity is the number one animal welfare issue which concerns vets, with 64 per cent of companion animal vets claiming that obesity and overfeeding are their main concern.
Junior Vice President of the British Veterinary Association, said: 'It is never easy to motivate yourself to get up a bit earlier on a cold, dark winter morning to take the dog out, but it is worth it. The dog is always pleased to see you and keen for a walk. We are a nation of dog lovers so let’s show it by spending some quality time with our pets out on a walk – it will look after their physical and mental health and it really is good for owners too!'
Exercise is great for both human and dogs' physical and mental health, and a task as simple as a dog walk or run will cost significantly less than a gym membership, and will be a lot more fun and rewarding. Not only does it help strengthen the bond between man and dog, it will also combat well-known health risks such as diabetes, cardiorespiratory disease and joint pain.
If you're looking to improve your dog's fitness these tips will help:
- Go the extra mile. An extra lap of the local park or going that bit further on a country walk is worth it. Remember, however, to keep your dog on the lead if livestock is nearby.
- Think toys not treats. Your dog will be just as happy playing with a toy as it will with a treat, and will benefit from the exercise.
- Join a club. Many vet practices will run fit clubs and weight regulation classes to help keep your pet in shape.
- Get the right diet. Take a minute just to check that your dog's diet is appropriate for its breed, size, age and lifestyle.
- Ask your local vet. Your local vet will be able to offer the best advice for what your pet needs. If in doubt, check.
Lead image courtesy of Getty / Moment / Brighton Dog Photography