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Wednesday, October 9, 2013

National Pet Obesity Awareness Day

Today is National Pet Obesity Awareness Day. Below is a news release with tips and pointers on keeping your dogs fit and active from Camp Bow Wow CEO and founder Heidi Ganahl:

Identify and Prevent Obesity

Signs to indicate your pet is overweight
  • Pet tires easily
  • Difficulty getting up
  • Visually, there is a lack of a waist line and you are unable to feel the ribs of your pet easily
  • Breathing problems
  • Arthritis
  • High blood pressure
  • Hair coat problems

Tips for readers to get in shape with their pets
  • Invite a neighbor dog (one that likes to play) to come over for a “play-date” to make them more active
  • Take your dog on a hike –great cardio and muscle-building activity for both pet and owner
  • Take your dog to pet friendly stores with you for extra exercise
  • Sign up for a run/walk (5K) that allows pets, so you are able to stay active with your furry friend
  • Cut down on treats for your dog and feed responsibly; count calories
  • Consult with your local vet on nutrition
  • Keep your pet active and set responsible goals that will become a daily routine
Examples of human foods that can quickly lead to pet obesity
  • Snacks like potato chips and ice cream, or more commonly cheese and peanut butter (which are frequently used to conceal medicines) are quick ways to pack on the pounds

Other solutions
  • A lot of products and diets are marketed and available for pets, which can help ameliorate obesity
  • Some dog food companies are following “prepackaged” and “measured” systems, which help to avoid over-feeding, as well as appetite suppressant products

Benefits of Socializing Pets
  • Physical exercise keeps dogs from displaying behavior problems that dogs who don’t get exercise tend to display, like chewing, digging, excessive barking, etc.
  • Just like humans need friends, so do dogs. They need a core social group of other dogs to interact with - especially if they are an “only” dog at home.
  • A tired dog is a good dog! Camp wears the dogs out from all of the stimulation that they get (both mental and physical), so parents get to bring home a nice, tired pup at the end of the day.
  • Keeping your dog socialized will help keep dogs from displaying serious behavior issues like aggression toward other dogs or people.
  • Getting dogs out of the house on a frequent basis helps stimulate them mentally. Dogs need as much mental stimulation as they do physical stimulation to keep them happy and healthy.
  • For parents that have longer work hours and don’t have as much time to walk their dogs as they would like to, camp gives the parents a great way to give their dog the benefits of interacting with other dogs and people instead of leaving them at home.

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