Getting You and Your Pet on the Path to Good Health

pet health

Whether you’re a fitness rookie or veteran, something worth considering this new year (and the years thereafter) is finding more ways to keep you and your pet on the path to good health.

Our beloved pets often share the same struggles as us — too many treats and not enough exercise can lead to stiff joints, weight gain, low energy, and more. While enjoying the occasional indulgence is important for an overall happy, healthy lifestyle, working out regularly and enjoying a well-balanced diet can ensure you and your pet have many more memorable years together.

Here are some ideas to get you started:

How Obesity Hurts Both You & Fido

Obesity can be a major problem for not only us humans, but for our pets as well. Unfortunately, gaining a few pounds is vastly different for your beloved furry friend than it is for you. For example, three pounds can be the difference between obese and healthy for your pets.

Furthermore, obesity can have severe consequences on your pet and result in some dangerous health issues such as diabetes, arthritis, and even certain kinds of cancers are more prevalent in overweight and obese pets. Some studies also suggest that obese dogs and cats can suffer from depression, as being overweight can affect their normal, everyday activities, making them much more difficult and strenuous.

With all that in mind, it’s clear why it’s important to your pet’s life and overall happiness that you have them do exercise regularly. As some animal experts explain, “You should always visit your veterinarian before initiating an exercise routine for your pet to ensure healthy heart and lung function. Once your vet clears your pet for exercise, start slowly and work up to at least 30 minutes of exercise per day.” They also go onto further stress that, “As with us humans, in most cases, it is much easier to prevent obesity than cure it.” Getting ahead of the problem and staying active can ensure your pet never has to deal with the side effects that obesity can cause.

It’s also worth noting the kind of effects that obesity can have our bodies as well. Obesity makes you more susceptible to lower back pain, for example, and with that kind of spinal damage, it can become difficult to enjoy time with your pets. You don’t want to wince in pain every time you bend down to pick up your beloved dog or cat.

Obesity (and back pain) can also put a damper on trips to the park to play fetch, or even prevent you from going on extended walks or hikes with your dog. This results in a tricky cycle where exercise becomes more difficult for both you and your pet, so it’s essential to make time for your health in order to get the most of out of your days.

Sometimes It Pays to Be a Picky Eater

Many us try to feed our pets the right kind of food. Not only is it important for their overall health, but it can cut down on expensive trips to the vet due to them eating something harmful. A lot of owners make the effort to do plenty of research in regards to their pet’s food — and for good reason! There are a lot of factors worth weighing before deciding what’s best for your pet.

A great example is the choice to go grain free. Considering that dogs and cats are predominantly carnivores, many owners decide to go grain free when it comes to kibble as it can be difficult to digest or, at the very least, doesn’t really do anything in regards to nutrition, and is basically just filler. Other owners also try to avoid chicken meal, and some even go with a completely raw diet. It’s also important to keep a close count on all those treats your dog or cat eats each day. And, of course, table scraps can add up quickly too.

In the same way we try to create the perfect, healthy diet for our pets, we should go to the same lengths with our own diets as well. Similar to limiting grains and more in our pet’s diet, being aware of certain ingredients in our meals can help us avoid those problematic diet issues.

It seems like many products on the market these days are pretty good at concealing harmful ingredients. For example, many instant oats products and granola (healthy stuff, right?) actually contains a weed killer ingredient called glyphosate. Moreover, a lot of food products might simply contain way more sugar, sodium, and carbs than you think, which can lead to unwanted weight gain and other health issues. With all of that in mind, it’s definitely worth taking the same amount of time you do for your pets to research all the ingredients in your food. When in doubt, you can never really go wrong with fresh food.

At the end of the day, you do everything you can to make your best friend’s life comfortable — plenty of toys, a warm bed, and a full food dish. However, it’s essential to keep both you and your furry companion as healthy as possible through an active lifestyle and well-balanced diet. Good luck!

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