Recently we posted information on a very important topic regarding the many potential health problems associated with our population of pets if they become overweight or obese. Scary statistics abound about how over half our pet population is portly to the point of being extremely unhealthy due to their expanding weight.
Inside of this article we were mostly looking at only half of the problem, too much food intake and “killing them with kindness” when it comes to excessive treats. As anyone who has ever been on a diet already knows, exercise is only part of this equation and in order to maintain (or lose) weight, an increase in activity is also necessary in order to meet these goals.
Confusion With Sizes And Stats
In this previous post, we touched on a pact about making our four-legged best friends a “workout partner,” but there’s also many misconceptions out there regarding their size, stature, activity levels, etc. For example, one may imagine that a larger breed like a German Shepherd would need much more exercise compared to a smaller animal.
Not true. A tiny terrier needs almost as much daily activity and exercise as many of these larger breeds of dogs. We should also remember that our feline friends are just as prone to a lack of activity as our pups. Left in the wild, left with their own devices and feeding opportunities, when hunting for food, this type of activity usually only accounted for short bursts of limited exercise with both of these animals.
More, More, More
But given these critters were almost always constantly on the prowl for food, these “short bursts of activity” happened regularly as they were consistently looking for their next meal. When we’re the ones who are providing for them and serving them their food on a regular basis, they have no need to hunt, prowl or exercise.
As their beloved masters, we must replace this instinctive behavior with other forms of activity and exercise while we’re feeding them healthier food choices. Check out this infographic that shows how we can keep them active, healthy, happy and increase the time we bond with them.
P.S. As always, please check with your veterinarian before changing your pet’s diet or exercise program.