The  Association for Pet Obesity Prevention reported that an estimated 60 percent of cats and 56 percent of dogs in the United States are overweight or obese. Obesity in pets is a serious and costly issue that worsens each year, but the good news is that it is entirely preventable.

Like with humans, weight for animals is greatly affected by lifestyle factors, and regular exercise can help to keep weight in a healthy range. Here are a few ways to stay active with your pet. 

Work your muscles
Pump some iron without the iron by using your own body weight as resistance, and get your dog involved. If your dog loves to play fetch and your abs could use a bit of toning, grab your dog’s toy of choice and lay flat on your back with your knees bent and feet flat on the ground. As you sit up, throw the toy. Your dog will run after it as you slowly lower your back onto the floor, and he’ll bring it back (hopefully) just in time for you to sit up again and throw it. You can do the same with squats: As you lower into a squatting position, you can raise the toy over your head, prompting your dog to jump for it.

Take a new path
Ever tire of your dog walking routine? Same time, same route, day in, day out. Change up that routine in an exciting way: Instead of walking your dog, let your dog walk you. You might enjoy letting your pup lead the way through uncharted territory.

Add intervals
The experts say that interval training is excellent for the heart, and the same is true for pets. Head out for a walk with your dog, but instead of just walking, increase both of your heartrates by mixing in some different, more intense movements, like jogging, shuffling sideways, and running backward.

Involve the kitty
Use tools like flashlights and lasers to entice your feline friend to move while you move, too. You can do sit-ups while you waive small flashlights or laser pointers at the wall, jump rope without the rope and put flashlights in your hands, or tie a catnip toy to your dumbbells while you do bicep curls or tricep extensions.

If you have any questions or concerns regarding your furry companion’s weight, contact us.