Animal Care Clinic Tips

Feb 10, 2012 2:32 PM by Bonnie Markoff, DVM, ABVP

Couch potato pets

Have you started your New Year's resolution to exercise and get fit yet? Some of you started and have already quit!

During December I wrote about obesity in pets and looked at several feeding strategies to help curb this problem. If you watch the "Biggest Loser" you know that a good fitness program requires exercise. This is true for our pets. Indoor cats are generally far heavier than outdoor cats in the same household, simply due to decreased exercise.

As Americans become less active, so do our pets. We owe it to ourselves and our animals to get up and move.

Dogs need to get outdoors and run. A leash walk is better than no exercise, but hiking up hills or running to chase a Frisbee is far better. Cats need to be encouraged to move, too. If you have a couch potato cat at home, move the litter box and food bowl as far away from the favorite sleeping place as possible. If you feed your cat meals, you can actually make a sedentary cat have to chase his food or lay it out in a long trail so he has to walk to eat. I have seen cats get so fat that just turning their heads from side to side is increased exercise!

The pet care professionals at Animal Care Clinic can help you design an exercise program that fits your lifestyle and your pet's individual needs. Come in or call us so we can help improve the quality of your pets' lives. We are open Monday through Friday from 7:30 a.m. to 6 p.m., Saturday from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. and Mondays until 8 p.m.


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