Your pets are your children, and you want them to be happy and healthy. However, sometimes it’s hard to keep them in shape during the winter months, due to the weather. Like humans, pets tend to hibernate a bit more during this time.
A good rule of thumb is to pay more attention to your pet’s health if you’re paying more attention to your own — like right now, as you get in shape for the spring. This can actually motivate you to be healthier if you exercise your pet more, feed them healthier foods and get them back into a good routine. It’s going to take hard work and dedication, but if you stick to it, your pet will be in shape in no time.
Read on for five tips for getting your pet in shape this spring.
There are many different things you can do to exercise your pet. Play a game of fetch out in the cool spring weather or go for a jog in your neighborhood. This is also a great way to get your own exercise and makes it more fun when you do it together. Bring your pet to the dog park to not only socialize them but to help get their pent up energy out. If you love to hike, let your pet tag along if it’s safe.
If you don’t have time for any of the things above, at least get your pet on a walking schedule, and stick to it. Walk them every morning before work and every evening before bedtime. Whatever you choose to do, exercise is important for your pet and their overall health.
Feed Them Less
This seems really obvious, but you’d be surprised by the amount of people who overfeed their pets. Make a quick call to your veterinarian to find out how much you should be feeding your pet every day. A visit would be even better so your vet can see your pet in person to determine if they are healthy or not.
If your vet tells you to feed your dog one cup in the morning and one at night, don’t exceed this amount, even if your pup wants more. Like humans, overeating can cause major health concerns for them and shorten their lifespan.
Don’t free-feed your pet and leave food out. Set it out in the morning for breakfast and at night for dinner. It’s best if you choose the same feeding times every day to keep them on a schedule, much like humans. Control your pet’s meals in order to slim them down. Place the food bowl out at the scheduled time, and if your pet doesn’t eat within 10-20 minutes, pick it back up. They will eat when they’re hungry.
Bake All Natural Treats
Stop buying processed pet treats. Not only are they expensive, but they contain lots of ingredients that are bad for your pet. Save money and get your dog in shape with your own homemade treats at home.
Baked sweet potato chews are the perfect treat for your pup. Green beans are also good to keep around the house — just make sure they are soft enough for your pets to digest. Sometimes canned green beans are best. Dogs especially tend to love carrots. While raw carrots are good for their dental health overall, sometimes it’s best to soften them so they are easier to digest. There are many other natural and safe foods for dogs, so try some of them out and find what works for yours.
Want to be a little more hands on? There are several homemade treat recipes available online. Bake healthy and safe dog cupcakes — pupcakes — or vegan apple crisp biscuits.
Don’t Over-reward Your Pet
It’s easy to give your pet too many treats. After all, you love them and want to make them happy. Keep treats minimal to not only keep the anticipation and magic fresh for your pet but to also keep them healthy. Too many treats can add up quickly and cause your pet to become overweight. Stick to a good behavior reward that you can give them every so often. Correlate treats with going potty outside too.
Give Them Lots of Water
Like people, dogs need water to flush their systems, keep them hydrated and to boost their metabolism. Keep a bowl of fresh water out for your pet at all times because they can never get enough water. Water will also help your pet maintain a normal body temperature and proper function of their internal digestive system. Make sure your pet has clean water daily that is easily accessible and constantly filled up for them.
After months of being cooped up, your pet will want to get out into the warm weather just like you. While it’s best to always watch out for your pet’s health, you especially want to during those months where they become extra active in hotter temperatures. The well-being of your pet depends on their health, so make sure you give them lots of water, exercise, and a healthy diet.