Over 56% of dogs are overweight in the USA as based on a 2017 study conducted by the Association for Pet Obesity Prevention. This number is likely to increase further still unless pet owners actively play a part in making sure their canine companion remains in good shape. Now is the perfect time for New Year resolutions that involve your health and this is not solely for pet parents, of course. For pets to get healthy, it is important for dog owners to arm themselves with better knowledge that is focused on how to get their pets on track.

Know What You’re Working With

Before you can start plotting those fitness goals for your furry buddy, it’s important that you first find out what exactly it is you’re working with. This means paying a much-needed visit to the vet for a general wellness checkup. The average dog owner only takes their pet to the vet around twice a year according to American Veterinary Medical Foundation.

Twice in a year doesn’t give a lot of opportunities to understand their pet’s current state of health; it also is not enough to know what else to do to elevate that health. Going to the vet for scheduled checkups can give you a stronger idea of what your dog needs more of and what you need to reduce.

Be Vigilant

There’s a huge chance that your vet will suggest that you give your pet some vital supplements for their nutrition. Supplements are quite the norm now; even dog owners take supplements on a daily basis. The thing is, just like the supplements that humans consume, there are a lot of sketchy and even fake pet supplements with substandard ingredients that may have made their way into the market and into your home.

Simply deciding that you want to give your dog fitness goals is not enough to meet them; you will need to be constantly vigilant about what you do to improve your pet’s health so you don’t put them at risk. Before you even look at a supplement, it is ideal that you do a lot of research and get the vet’s word on what can really help and harm your dog.  

Make Yourself a Part of It

Vets will generally recommend that dogs get two walks a day that last around 15 minutes each. Carving out some time in your day for this not only benefits your pet but you as well. When both owners and pets stick to better routines, the better the odds that they both get healthier.

Ultimately, your strong involvement will be the deciding factor on whether or not your pet will get the lifestyle shakeup that they need. A dog owner that makes it a point to include themselves in the activities that help keep their pets in top shape have a stronger chance of attaining their own goals. Make 2019 the year where both you and your furry friend make positive steps toward healthier habits.


About the Author: Now working as a writer, Jackie started her career as a veterinary nurse and has always been an animal lover –  but after becoming a mom refocused and decided to spend more time with her family. When she’s not writing, she volunteers for a number of local animal welfare charities and also has a menagerie of pets to look after, including a sparky whippet called Charlie