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Jul 21

Your Dog May be the Partner you Need to Stick to Your Health Plan – The Bark

Less than 25% of people who start a diet and exercise routine stick with their plans for more than a month, but its a little tougher to skip your jog if your dog is waiting for you by the door. Dogs make wonderful walking and exercise buddies. Partnering with your dog when implementing healthy habits can add motivation and will make you both happier and healthier.

A balanced diet and regular exercise are extremely important for pets, just like they are for humans, and many of the health benefits of a healthy lifestyle are the same, saidDr. Arielle Markley,a veterinarian in theCanine Physical Rehabilitation & Sports Medicine CenteratThe Ohio State University Veterinary Medical Center. Your pet can help keep you accountable because your plan is no longer just about your own health, but also theirs.

Health problems tend to occur more often with overweight dogs. From knee injuries and arthritis issues to chronic illnesses like diabetes, excess weight can adversely affect your dogs health.

Forming a partnership with your dog could be the motivation you need. There are many creative ways to get active with your dog, such as dog yoga, dog agility, and couch to 5K programs, but start slowly as with any new program. Just as someone shouldnt run a full marathon without training, the same holds true for dogs. Its essential to work them up slowly, especially if your dog hasnt been highly active.

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Dr. Markley says, when starting a diet and exercise plan with your dog, just rememberPAWS:

Making positive, healthy changes in your life isnt always easy, but if you say to your pet, We are going to go out and walk every day, then youre doing it for them as well, saidLiz Weinandy,registered dietician atThe Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center. Making that commitment can go a long way toward keeping that promise and reaching your goals.

Before getting started on any rigorous diet or exercise program, talk to your doctor and veterinarian. Its important to make sure that there arent any other health conditions that might keep either of you from your goals and have a tailored plan to your individual needs.

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Your Dog May be the Partner you Need to Stick to Your Health Plan - The Bark

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