Volume 3 Issue 3

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Exercise: Physical And Mental Well-being Is A Family Affair Everyone gets that exercise is important to the overall health of an individual. Animals in the wild (cats and dogs) roamed, hunted, played and rested. Lack of proper exercise has a nega ve effect on the body, mind and spirit. Up to 40% of dogs and cats in the United States are overweight and many are obese! Overweight animals suffer from the same diseases that people do, such as diabetes, allergies, arthri s, lung and heart disease and cancer. Obesity is directly related to excessive carbohydrate diets (ea ng processed dry kibble or canned foods), lack of enzymes and necessary gut flora. There is an alarming rise in behavioral issues that are a result of inadequate exercise and mental s mula on/ relaxa on. Pets may exhibit frustra on in the form of hyperac vity, barking, digging, tail chasing, separa on anxiety and home destruc on. The main reason animals are given up to shelters are behavioral problems. Physically ac ve dogs are not hyperac ve or destruc ve and they sleep well. They keep a healthier weight and have be er diges on and organ health. There is a stronger, more rewarding bond with their owners and, best of all, the owners turn off the TV, get off the couch, and have fun too! The right amount and type of exercise depends on your pet's age, breed, physical condi on, and your abili es. Using the same principles as for yourself, if your pet has not been ac ve or is overweight, have a veterinarian perform a thorough physical exam, possibly blood work and X-rays, to rule out underlying health challenges such as arthri s, liver or kidney disorders. Use Common Sense Start gradually and build strength and endurance. Slow and steady is safer and more enjoyable. "No pain, no gain" does NOT apply to your pet! Dog Exercise Avoid exercise in the ho est part of the day. Stay off hot pavement (it can burn their pads) and provide plenty of water. There are special shoes made for dogs, like Mu luks® dog boots ( to protect their feet. Dogs eliminate body heat by pan ng. (They have some sweat glands in the footpads, which help with heat dissipa on, but only minimally.) When pan ng isn't enough, their body temperature rises. This can be fatal if not corrected quickly. Their core temperature should remain under 103 degrees (normal res ng core Page 12| Abby's Magazine -

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