As we all know, owning a dog comes with a tremendous amount of responsibility, especially exercise in order to combat against a growing epidemic of becoming overweight and the risk of obesity. There are many problems that our four-legged friends face from obesity, which puts them in danger of the same types of health issues often present in humans that may have also packed on a few too many pounds.
Heat Intolerance & Liver Problems
When it comes to our dog’s liver, this is the place where fat is stored and an excess amount of fat can lead to a buildup of fluids. This can cause hepatic lipidosis (fatty liver disease), decreased liver function or outright liver failure. Other issues include:
- Breathing difficulties
- An increased risk of developing cancer
- Heart and circulatory issues
- Arthritis and other problems with bones and tissue
- An increased risk of developing diabetes
Should your dog require surgery, along with possible breathing difficulties, being overweight also makes it harder to come out of anaesthesia and makes simple operations more complicated. Staying active and eating healthier are the best ways of warding off weight gain, so here are some ways you and your best friend can get more exercise.
Participate In Playtime
One of most dogs’ favourite activities is a hearty game of fetch, but this usually is a one-way situation where the canine does almost all the work. You can think about playing along with them-
For example, if you play fetch down a hallway with them inside, change positions from where you’re throwing from one end of the hall to the other. Playing along with your pet is also a great way to bond with them through positive interactions and can build an even stronger relationship between you and your dog.
Many of us played this game as youngsters and dogs enjoy seeking out their favourite playthings as well. This might take a little bit of training at first, but most dogs catch on pretty quickly to the concept since they’re naturally accustomed to hunting skills like being a “ratter” or houndog. They must first be familiar and well versed with the “sit-and-stay” command and you can start playing with them when you hide and they must come and locate your hidden location.
You can also hide treats or toys for them around their house, building on their “stay” command when you go to hide it. Hiding items like this can be an especially fun game for dogs that love to use their noses!
Getting more active with your best friend will help to ensure both of you live longer, healthier lives and will be together for many years to come. What are you waiting for? Whether you’re indoors or out, get moving with your mutt!
Written by Emily Ridgewell