I’ve known for awhile. My cats are fat AF.
My blue Russian weighed a whopping 17.6 pounds while his wingman, a short-haired calico, weighed 16.6 pounds. They spend most of their days leisurely strolling and napping, being—what else—lazy. After a few months of having them on a strict diet, there was no change in poundage. They were still fat AF.
Then, we bought a puppy.
I don’t really care that my cats are teetering on the edge of obesity. They are happy, but for the sake of their health I had them dieting. But, a corpulent, king charles cavalier spaniel? I just can’t have it that way.
Images like this:
They haunt me… they make me sad… and, they make me feel like an irresponsible pet owner.
Cats, by nature, are allowed to be gluttonous, dormant creatures. But not dogs.
In ancient times, dogs were companions, hunters, gatherers, and protectors. They were active creatures. And, now more than ever we should be utilizing their hyperactive personalities to encourage our own healthy habits.
Most dog breeds require 30 minutes of activity a day (how convenient, so do humans). While you may think that your dog is playing while you’re away at work, think again. WebMd describes the current job description of a dog as a “couch potato.” The most activity your dog gets is the 10 foot walk between the couch and the food bowl, which results inactivity and an overconsumption of calories–sound familiar?
In the words of Health Magazine, “If your cat or dog seems too rotund, it can be an opportunity to get healthier yourself.” And, even if they are not on the hefty side, maintaining yours and their health is way easier than recovering from years of inactivity. Trust me, teaching the blue Russian to get off his haunches was nearly as difficult as that time I lost 43 pounds–it just wasn’t fun.
The good news is a 2015 study revealed that dog owners became more health conscience when they discovered their pet was overweight. Both human and companion even lost weight. If this information is resonating with you at all, here’s what you need to know about getting healthy with your dog:
Venture to the Vet Clinic
Just as you would never start a new workout regime without consulting your doctor, you also should consult with your veterinarian on your dog’s current health. Animals, like humans, have a BMI score. Once there, they will be able to clue you in on the amount of food your dog should be consuming. If you can count calories for your dog, you can do it for yourself.
Time For Some Cardio
The American Heart Association recommends 150 minutes of exercise, per week, for humans. Which is amusing because that is exactly what your dog requires too. Even if your dog is a toy breed, they need a walk. Happy moving!
Your dog is probably content with the daily walks, but have you ever seen a pup’s face light up when you announce that you’re taking it swimming? It’s pretty adorable. Variety never hurt anyone. In fact, humans do better with variety, too. If you aren’t changing your workout every four to six weeks you aren’t doing it right. The human body is very adaptable and if you want to continue losing weight, you need to add some variety to your workouts.
Research has proven that a workout buddy increases your chances of working out and same goes for dogs. Walk your pooch to a dog park and watch how they happily dart, prance, and frolic with their canine companions.
I don’t know what life has in store for my cats, but the newest member of our family is in for daily walks and education on proper nutrition. Who knows, maybe next year we will even join the Furgo dog run.