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PDSA Veterinary Nurse Nina Downing: Get your pet in shape this summer

For many of us, summer is the season for vacationing, planning exciting outdoor adventures, and warming up, but it’s also an encouraging time to get in shape.

PDSA Veterinary Nurse Nina Downing said: “We all want to feel our best, but when the sun is shining and the temperature is warm it can really motivate us to get out and be active. While the benefits for us of moving around more are widely understood, staying fit and healthy is just as important for our furry friends, and there are many healthy habits we can implement for our pets to help to help them maintain a balanced lifestyle – for the summer, and beyond.

Balanced diet

“A complete, balanced and nutritious diet is essential for your pet. To ensure your furry friend is getting the nutrients they need, look for a food manufacturer that is part of the Pet Food Manufacturers Association (PFMA). Members of this organization meet additional quality standards, such as Royal Canin. “Wet foods may be preferred by some cats and dogs, and provide extra hydration, while biscuits or kibble help keep teeth clean and can be used as treats – many owners choose to feed a mix of the two. It doesn’t matter what you feed, as long as it is balanced and appropriate for your pet’s age, breed and weight.

Regular walkies

“Regular exercise is essential for your pet to maintain a healthy lifestyle, and with longer days and warmer weather, this is the perfect opportunity to spend time outdoors with your dog ( but remember not to exercise it in hot weather as there is a risk of heat stroke.) The amount of exercise your dog needs will depend on many factors including age, health, level of fitness and breed, but most dogs will benefit from at least two walks a day, with playtime in between.

“Cats may not appreciate a scheduled walk every day, but you can help them get the exercise they need by hiding their food in different places around your home. they need to use the stairs every time they want a snack!

“Stick to a consistent exercise routine is a great way to build fitness and endurance in your pet – and will also help them shed a few extra pounds, if they need it.

Easy on treats

“While we can indulge in a cheeky treat or two, avoid giving leftovers to your pets – many human foods are high in fat, sugar and salt and can unbalance the diets of our friends at home. fur, leading to unhealthy weight gain. Certain foods like chocolate, raisins, onions, and garlic are also very toxic to dogs and cats, so keep them away from curious paws.

Lots of playing time

“Don’t forget your pet’s mental health – alongside daily exercise, try to schedule extra playtime to keep them active and stimulated, as well as to help them burn extra calories. Dogs may want to hunt and retrieve a toy, play tug of war, hide, and seek or sniff their favorite toy in a scent game Cats prefer to be active for short periods of time, so use their favorite toys to keep them entertained for five to 10 minutes , then let them rest.

Consistency is key

“Just like with our own physical fitness, being consistent is key to achieving lasting results. While the summer season is great for boosting motivation, it’s important to encourage a healthy lifestyle for your pets throughout. year round.

For helpful resources on how to keep your pet healthy, check out PDSA’s #Weighup campaign, proudly supported by Royal Canin, and download PDSA’s free guide:

PDSA is the UK’s largest veterinary charity providing a vital service to pets across the UK whose owners struggle to pay the cost of treating their sick and injured animals. For many vulnerable animals, PDSA is there to help them when there is nowhere for their owners to go. People’s Postcode Lottery player support helps us reach even more pet owners with vital tips and information.