Your pets need the best diet and daily exercise to stay healthy and fit just like humans. Dogs enjoy a physical lifestyle that involves running, jumping and playing. Cats also enjoy a great deal of climbing and jumping as well. A sedentary lifestyle isn’t really conducive for our pets because they are naturally active animals. In fact, Safari Veterinary Care Centers advocates regular exercise to keep your pets healthy and fit.
The type of exercise that will suit your pet best might depend on their age, personality or size. Young animals are more active with seemingly endless energy, while older animals require less exercise. Cats love climbing and exploring, while the nature of a dog is to travel, therefore, dogs love walking.
Observing and finding out what your pet loves doing might be the key to helping them exercise through that activity. It has been noted that animals with little or no exercise may develop behavioral and/or health issues.
If you are wondering which exercise is best for your pet, you may contact Safari Veterinary Care Centers. The staff at Safari is always happy to advise you on the type and amount of exercise that will be most beneficial for your pet.
Below are some tips you could put into practice to keep your pet well-exercised, stress-free and fit:
- You can take your dog for a walk, jog or run. Walking is the easiest form of exercise for most people and walking creates a solid bond between you and your dog. Going to a dog park will help your dog properly socialize among other dogs.
- Dogs love playing fetch. Fetch teaches obedience, obedience commands and you can throw in some curve balls (no pun intended) to challenge them.
- You can provide an environment so your pets can easily exercise. For cats that love climbing and jumping, provide shelves and other objects where they can freely climb.
- Building a suitable, private shelter for your pet can help them stay happy and free from stress. A shelter that gives them some space and comfort to be alone when they want. If their space is created indoors, it could also have a view of the outdoors.
- Be mindful of overfeeding your pets, as this could make them sluggish and unwilling to exercise. If your pet is already showing sluggish behavior, introduce exercise slowly and increase the duration and intensity as your pet strengthens.
- Do not feed your dog prior to exercise. Excessive exercise after a full meal can lead to issues such as bloat; a dangerous condition that can lead to death!
Diet is also a factor that determines the happiness and fitness of your pet. This doesn’t mean that you need to blow your budget to keep your pet well fed. There are a variety of dog foods available that are not only affordable, but are packed with ingredients your pet needs. The ideal pet food should contain the essential nutrients and vitamins needed for your pet’s optimal development. Younger dogs will need more energy-giving foods, while older dogs will benefit more from foods that have more calcium to bolster their aging and weakening bones. If you need advice choosing the right food for your pet, Safari Veterinary Care Centers is more than happy to point you in the right direction.
The food type you choose for your pet should be specific to the needs of your pet; given their age, lifestyle and any special needs they may have. The diet should be affordable and easily available. Taste and texture is also important, or at least to your pet it is! Some animals enjoy food with soft or crunchy bits, some might enjoy fish, meat or fruit mixed in their meals. Whatever type or brand you choose in the end, remember to gradually introduce the new food to your pet, while weaning them off the food they are currently eating. This is important, because you do not want to cause upset stomach, digestive issues or abrupt food allergies. Simply mix in a little of the new food with the current food, increasing the amount each day over a 7 day period, until the transition is complete. You can follow these or similar steps:
Introduce & Switch Your Dog to a New Food:
- Day 1 & 2: 20% new food to 80% current
- Day 3 & 4: 40% new food to 60% current
- Day 5: 60% new food to 40% current
- Day 6: 80% new food to 20% current
- Day 7: 100% new food to 0% current
A good diet will be reflected in your pet’s disposition. If they have a happy disposition, bright eyes, playful with a shiny coat, then you are definitely on the right path. Remember, you may express any of your concerns to Safari Veterinary Care Centers, our staff is always happy to answer any of your questions in regards to your pet.
The following behaviors might be expressed from a pet that has little exercise or poor diet.
- bad temperament
- unnecessary aggression, barking and over-zealous
- mock-fighting and predatory behavior
- scratching, digging, chewing and biting
- stubbornness and ignoring commands
- quietness or solitude
- gaining weight
- developing health issues from inactivity
Regular exercise and a good diet are necessary for your pet to maintain their health and fitness. Following our tips and suggestions will help your pet lead a more active existence.