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Top Tips for a Fitter, Healthier, and Happier Pet


We, as pet lovers, can sometimes lose focus on keeping our furry friends in good shape.  

Research shows that approximately half of all cats and dogs in the UK are overweight!  

So, now is the time to get them on the road to fitness, as overweight pets can lead to a series of significant health issues. 


Since it’s currently National Pet Month, here are some top tips for healthy weight management:  

  

Size Check  

Weigh your pet regularly and check their body’s condition. This can be very awkward at home, but you can pick them up (if possible) and weigh both of you, then weigh yourself and subtract it, then you’ll have the weight of your pet. Et Viola! 


Getting weighed at the vet is easier and more accurate, and vet visits are essential anyway; they will make your pet's life a lot easier, and preventative care is the best way to ensure your pet is still healthy and happy for years. 


You should be able to feel their ribs through their fur with very light finger pressure. Body condition charts are a good way to find out whether your pet is overweight, but this is only a starting point, and it needs to be confirmed by your vet too. 

   

Paw-tion Control  

Every pet food packet has a feeding guideline. These guidelines show how much food is needed per day. Recommendations are based on the pet’s weight and sometimes also consider life stage and activity level. Although each pet will have its own needs, start with the recommended amounts and adjust accordingly. Adjustment may depend on your pet’s age, neuter status, breed, and lifestyle. 


Tip: Once you’ve weighed portions out using a kitchen scale, you can simply put these

measurements into a small cup or bowl that you have on hand near their food, one that matches this portion size, and this will save you measuring each time!  

    

Treats  

Healthy treats can be a great way to bond with your pet, but they should be no more than 10% of their calorie intake, 90% should come from their complete pet food. Remember to adjust meals accordingly when treating and avoid human food and table scraps, which can be high in hidden calories for pets. 


Proper nutrition is the foundation of your pet’s health. Here are some tips:  

  

  • Choose high-quality, balanced pet food.  

  • Consider your pet’s age and activity level when selecting food.  

  • Provide fresh water daily.  

  • Limit treats and avoid feeding human food.  

    

Exercise is the pillar of wellness.  

Ensure an active lifestyle with walks and playtime that will help your pet and you!   


Whatever your pet, there are ways to keep them active and mentally stimulated. Smaller pets in cages (or even hutches) still need plenty of room to express their natural behaviour and have free movement. Environmental enrichment also ensures your pet doesn’t get bored; pets love nothing more than smelling outside. 


Providing pet-safe toys and moveable objects for them to interact with provides physical and mental stimulation too. Remember, a physically engaged pet is often a happy pet.  

    

A note for puppy and kitten owners  

Adding a new furry friend to your household can be both exciting and confusing.  

With so many pet food choices, choosing the right food for your new pet can be a daunting task. The majority of your pet’s calories should come from foods specifically formulated for their species. Human food, as well as food specifically designed for other animals, will not provide the proper nutrition needed for your growing puppy or kitten. 

 

Begin with puppy or kitten food to ensure your pet gets adequate calories for growth. Puppies should be given food that is right for their expected adult size. Large and small-breed puppy foods are formulated differently to encourage the correct development of bones, joints, and muscles. Once your pet has reached adult size, typically around nine months, you can slowly introduce adult dog food. 

  

If your pet is overweight or you notice a weight gain or loss, always talk to your vet. They will rule out any underlying health issues before developing a weight-loss plan with you.  

  

Apart from keeping them healthy and happy, our furry friends will look to us to provide love, comfort, and support.  

  

So, be sure to hug your pet every day.

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