(Editor's Note: Thanks to reader, Charlotte Steed for sending in this article.)
Society can be cruel when it comes to making judgements about the owners of fat pets. Pet owners with health problems can find it hard to give their pets a healthy lifestyle because they themselves aren't well. Sometimes it's the owner, and sometimes it's the pet that has the health condition that prevents them from being more active, often it is both.
Owners of overweight pets natiowide as well as Laguna Niguel and Dana Point, love them dearly and know they have problems caused by their weight, they already feel guilty and the judgement of others only makes them feel worse.
Arthritic knees, hips, or backs, for example, can make something as simple as walking into a painful ordeal. And being overweight only serves to compound this. Some pets, and their owners, need more support and guidance to know exactly what they need to do, and which pains should be respected and which can be pushed through.
Whilst there are many fitness and weight loss programs out there for people there are very few for pets, and the majority of these are owned by pet food companies to support their diet food products. What owners and their pets need is to have a safe place to start, and then build on, empowering them to feel they are able to do something to take a steps in the right direction.
The first thing owners need to do before increasing their pets activity is to get their pet checked out by their vet for underlying health issues. Then they need to get themselves checked out by their doctor. They need to decide to take action and set a realistic goal. The new action plan, for example, a short walk every other day, needs to be stuck at for at least 6 weeks in order for it to become a habit that is easier to stick to.
Most people can help their pets more than they think and it doesn't need to be hard or painful, if it is then it won't be maintained. Getting friends and family members to be supportive is a good idea as is seeking out an animal physical therapist for more specific advice.
A good place to start could be the free on-line program at Fat2FitPets.com, where there are tools and resources put together to assist in safely increasing your pets activity.
So take a stand today and resolve to increase your pets activity, giving them better health and longevity, and making yourself feel good that you can manage this and take back control.
For more ways to help your overweight pets, email firstname.lastname@example.org