Canine Fitness Month

Ah, spring is in the air, and at this time of year many of us begin, return to, or intensify our fitness routines. As we evaluate our own physical shape after a long, often lazy winter, we should check our pets to see if they, too, need a little fitness boost. Glancing down at your standing canine, hopefully you will see a gentle indentation in the loin area. The loin is the section between your dog’s last rib and the beginning of the pelvic bone. If this area is slightly concave, your pet’s weight is probably normal. If this area is convex or rounded out, your pet is most likely overweight. After consulting with your veterinarian, you may decide to make some diet and exercise changes for a healthier summer of fun.

And although April is “canine fitness month” let’s not forget about our feline friends. You can judge your cat’s weight in the same manner as noted in the paragraph above, or simply run your hands over your cat’s ribs, feeling for a thin or thick layer of fat. While your cat’s ribs should not be visible (indicating underweight) a layer of fat indicates excess weight. The ultimate feeding plan for cats and dogs is a raw meat diet for cats and a raw meat diet with small amounts of vegetables and fruits for dogs. These species appropriate meals are very low in carbohydrates, making them ideal for normalizing weight. Since you control what goes into your pet’s bowl this transition is a simple one. The Northwest Naturals website has specific instructions on the correct way to switch your pet onto a raw, weight-normalizing diet.

The topic of weight loss through exercise may be a bit more complicated. Many doctors and weight loss experts suggest that while exercise has many proven health benefits, eating a correct diet in correct amounts is the most efficient way to lose weight. So why not do both? There are unlimited sports and games we can incorporate into our dog’s lives to increase their activity, many we can enjoy right beside them. Cats may be more difficult, but extra play along with a raw food diet can work wonders. We love our pets and want them in our lives as long as possible. By putting them on a nutrient rich raw food diet and increasing their exercise we definitely improve the likelihood of lengthening their lives.

Fitness is defined as the condition of being physically fit and healthy. It is a superb goal for all of our families, including our pets!

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