Keeping Your Pet Fit, Trim and Active in the Winter Months

February 9, 2010

Keeping Your Pet Fit, Trim and Active in the Winter Months

As winter continues to tighten her grip across the nation, our pet dogs might feel a tightening of the winter sweaters right about now.

This can be a difficult time of year not only for humans but for our pets as well. Whether you’re guilty of giving your pet scraps from the holiday buffet table or just from one too many doggie treats, the fact is 40% of dogs are overweight. According to a Reuter’s article from 2008, this translates to 17 million dogs carrying extra weight.

 Time to call a pet sitting service for your pet’s dog walking needs! 

Dog walking is the most popular service request that pet services get. This is a great way to keep your pet dog fit and trim, consistently active and avoid boredom that can lead to behavioral issues.  It will also relieve the doldrums that come from your pet sitting around all day waiting for you to come home.

In addition to signing on with a pet service for your pet sitting and dog walking needs, you can also make dog treats from scratch; there are terrific recipes online or even pet recipe books, how fun! Or find a pet bakery that specializes in healthy, natural treats for your pet dog.  If you’ve been thinking about changing over to a diet dog food you’ll want to be extra careful. When it comes to their actual pet food you want to be cautious and not change it overnight. It should be a gradual change of mixing the food and then over time you’ll switch over completely. Speak with your vet about these changes and what’s best for your pet dog.

Here’s a handy suggestion for keeping your furry kids happy and healthy…When it comes time to feed my Beagle Daisy instead of using a traditional dog bowl we use a Kong. Every morning and evening we measure her food, pour it into the gadget and for the next ten minutes she rolls it around by her nose and waits for the food to drop out, piece by piece. This way she’s active while she’s eating, it stimulates her brain and she doesn’t inhale a bunch of air from eating way too fast.  Just by measuring her food and using this feeding method she has shed 13lbs.  And, the difference is amazing! She’ll be 10 this year but she has all of the energy of a 3yr old dog. She’s like Benjamin Button.

Still not sold on using a pet service or changing her feeding habits? Not even sure if your pet dog is actually overweight? Try this simple test…Stand over your dog, what do you see? Do you see her sides plump out or does she have more of an hourglass figure?  You want to see the latter; even the slightest bit of visible rib cage is acceptable.

Having a dog as a pet is a great way to stay in shape, be active and relieve stress which can lead to weight gain and boredom.

This article was written by Carolyn Alonzo, owner of Fetch! Pet Care of Chicago Loop-Lincoln Park.  Carolyn can be reached at 312-235-2409.  Fetch! Pet Care is the largest national pet services and pet sitting company in the United States; serving 38 states in more than 2,000 cities and towns

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2 Responses to “Keeping Your Pet Fit, Trim and Active in the Winter Months”

  1. Barb Gates Says:

    I love the idea of using the Kong for feeding! We have been snowbound for weeks so my Terrier/Poodle mix is starting to gain a little weight. I am going to try this trick with him. My sister has a Yellow Lab that has weight struggles, so I forwarded this to her as well. Thanks — and “think Spring!”


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