Obesity in both humans and their pets is now becoming a global epidemic, and many activities, projects, and associations are trying to reduce the numbers of overweight people and to reduce their risk of developing serious health conditions. It is a well-known fact that being overweight is detrimental to health, and many organs directly suffer from obesity. As a matter of fact, two out of three Americans suffer from obesity, and over half of their cats and dogs are also too heavy, according to a nationwide survey from 2012. This means that their risk of developing a heart disease, diabetes, high blood pressure, etc., is severely increased and that they need to take care of their body before it is too late.
Since there is no magic formula on how to reduce weight and how to become fit, it is hard to tell what exactly you should do to become a healthy and vital individual once again. However, some experts suggest that a ratio of “60% diet and 40% exercise” will lead everyone to their ultimate goal – a significant loss of weight and a fit and functional body.
But, motivation usually gets in the way of these 40% that are supposed to be spent in physical activity, so we often lose interest in a few days and get back to the same old routine of sitting on our couch and just watching TV until we fall asleep.
Pets, especially dogs, can be of great help in this respect, and they are perfect partners for all sorts of recreational activities and exercise. Having a pet will provide you with a number of benefits when it comes to physical activity,
and people who own dogs are known to be more active and in better shape, which is confirmed by several scientificstudies. Also, pets reduce anxiety, decrease depression, and loneliness, and can have a full range of positive effects on our overall mental state and well-being. On the other hand, they will also benefit from physical activity and recreation, simply because dogs, for example, always show fewer behavior problems when are regularly taken out for walks. Chewing, digging or barking are almost completely eliminated if dogs receive their share of fresh air and contact with other dogs and people.
If you go for a 30-minute walk with your dog, you can expect many positive results in a very short time. Your pet and you will experience almost equal energy burn, and if you burn a lot of calories – your risk of having a serious disease will be significantly lower. Also, social interaction is an important component of walking a dog around your block or in the nearby park, simply because you will meet some friends, have a small talk with the neighbors, etc.
The dog will experience a similar scenario, and by meeting other dogs, children, and cars, your dog will become socialized and there will be no risk of it being aggressive or dangerous.
Bonding time on fresh air is a win/win situation for both you and your pet, so take the opportunity to go for a walk with them whenever you can.