Now that we can see the light of day (literally!) and get back out there to spend time with our friends and family, there might be a few of us that focused less on keeping fit and healthy during this time, and more on the Netflix and chill. Well, the same could also be said for your furry housemate! Whilst having us around more at home has certainly been much to their delight, we may not have been aware of the detrimental effect our constant presence has had on our fur kid’s health.
Overfeeding to compensate for the lack of other rewards such as road trips, picnics and runs on the beach have become commonplace, whilst hanging out on the couch all day so the afternoon walk became inconsequential was far too easy. This, along with behavioural problems such as separation anxiety, desocialisation and destructive behaviour, (especially in our puppies and kittens acquired in the last 18 months), has meant that our pets have suffered almost as much as we have.
Whilst our city opens up again, it’s time to focus on getting healthier, not only for yourself, but for your four legged companion! Here’s some things to try and focus on and perhaps reintroduce into your daily lives together:
- Daily walks – remember to hit the pavement with your dog (or cat!) on leash each day. Looking at your local area for interesting routes to take can mix it up and keep it interesting for you both.
- Daily play – playtime at home isn’t just for your pooch, your feline buddy may also like to get involved! Whilst tug of war, chasing a frisbee, swimming in the ocean and running around in the backyard is not only good for you but also your dog, there a plenty of games to keep your cat healthy and happy too! Laser pointers, battery operated balls, and fishing lines (just to name a few) can provide loads of fun, stimulation and exercise for our cats. You may be surprised at how agile and energetic they can be!
- Set meal times and controlled portions – Try to only feed your pets at set times each day (routine is key for reducing anxiety and also promoting good metabolism), and be sure to follow the feeding guidelines for whichever food you have chosen to provide them. A general rule of thumb for most adult pets is twice a day.
- Ditch the treats! – Did you know that a small piece of cheese to us, is the same as an entire block of chocolate to our dog? Different species do not metabolise food the same way, and it’s easy to forget that little Fluffy isn’t human when she’s basically asking for a biscuit with your afternoon cuppa! It is important to remember that as much as it’s an easy and often habitual solution for that begging pet, we are actually causing a great deal of harm.
Obesity can lead to devastating health complications like orthopaedic issues, arthritis, cardiorespiratory problems, diabetes that can not only shorten a pet’s life expectancy but also the quality of it. This is not to mention the devastating effects it can have on our pet’s mental health and behaviour, and guess what? The same applies to us. So, what are you waiting for? Brush off the runners, bin the treats, and get creative for you AND your pet. Let’s see in the new year a little differently to last!
If you are concerned about your pet’s weight gain or general wellbeing at the moment, please don’t hesitate and book in to see one of our friendly veterinarians today. It’s quick and easy, and you can book online here https://berwickvet.com.au/book-online/