Home   News   Article

Vetspeak: Joining forces can help both pet and owner stay fit

By Alison Laurie-Chalmers

Register for free to read more of the latest local news. It's easy and will only take a moment.

Click here to sign up to our free newsletters!
Exercising with your dog is beneficial for both of you.
Exercising with your dog is beneficial for both of you.

It can be a thought to get out of bed early on a cold, dark winters morning to take the dog out. One thing to remember, particularly if you are struggling with a new year’s resolution to get fit yourself, is that extra little bit of effort is well worth it, for you and for your dog.

Your dog is always happy and pleased to see you, and he is usually very keen for a walk. So, you already have an amiable, loyal, loving companion to accompany you on your walk or run.

Also, you will find that much-needed inspiration to go that little bit further, because you know that the exercise is helping your pet too.

By spending some quality time with our pets out on a walk the exercise looks after their physical and mental health, and it is good for us owners too.

Regular exercise has been proven to be beneficial for our physical and mental health, and this also applies to our pet dogs too. Taking a dog for a walk or run costs nothing, and it is fun and can be very rewarding. A brisk walk together helps regularly train your pet, and also aids in creating a closer bond between owner and dog, which can have a great positive impact on everyone’s wellbeing.

Keeping fit and losing weight also combats the well-known health risks that can come with being overweight, such as diabetes, cardio-respiratory disease and joint disease.

Here are some tips for improving your dog’s and your own fitness:

Firstly, do make sure that yourself and your dog are fit enough to start having some more exercise. If your dog is elderly or infirm, then continue with your usual exercise regime, perhaps gently adding in an extra couple of little, short walks. If your dog is very overweight, always start extra exercise gradually, along with a new healthy and advised weight management and diet regime.

If your dog is fit and able do that extra mile, do an extra circuit around the local park, or go a bit further on your usual country walks, remembering that your dog should always be on a lead in countryside when there is any livestock around.

You could also research and try some new walks and explore. Dogs love any new territory for walks and all the excitement and smells around, and it is also healthy for you too, to broaden your exploring horizons!

Get the right and appropriate diet for your pet. Make sure that your dog’s diet is correct, for breed, size, age, and lifestyle. Feed your dog the correct amounts and do not be tempted to overfeed. Do avoid giving extra, as this just adds to his daily calorie intake, and will eventually cause obesity. Overweight pets are at a higher risk of developing diabetes, osteoarthritis, heart, and liver disease, and sadly, some forms of cancer.

Help your beloved pet have a happy and healthy new year – and for years ahead – by endeavouring to keep him trim and in good shape. Weight reduction can increase your pet’s life expectancy by several years, and improve his quality of life.

If you would like advice on how you can safely and healthily reduce your pet’s weight, then please do phone your vet for a weight -check appointment in the new year.

Wishing you all and your lovely pets a happy and healthy new year ahead in 2023!

Alison Laurie-Chalmers is a senior consultant at Crown Vets.

Do you want to respond to this article? If so, click here to submit your thoughts and they may be published in print.

This site uses cookies. By continuing to browse the site you are agreeing to our use of cookies - Learn More