Beat the Heat
Exercising your dog is a daily necessity, but when the temperature rises, so does your pet’s chance of overheating. Before you hit the pavement, keep these safety tips in mind.
Break up the exercise. By switching between walking and running, you’ll give your pup (and yourself) adequate time to cool down and recover before she starts to feel overexerted.
Plan to get out during cooler times of the day. Whether it’s an early morning jog or late afternoon stroll, you’ll avoid the peak hours when the sun is at its strongest and the chance for heat exhaustion is at its highest.
Check for sweat. Most of your dog’s sweat glands are located near her paws. Keep on the lookout for wet paw prints—if she hasn’t been near water recently, it may be a sign of sweating.
Stay close to water. Not a problem here in San Diego! Run with your dog in a place where you have access to water so you can stop to wet her paws or let her dive right in for a full cooldown. Also, don’t forget to take extra bottles of drinking water so she stays hydrated!
Invest in a vest. Snub-nosed breeds like boxers, bulldogs and pugs are prone to overheating; consider purchasing them a cooling vest for extra protection.
Go for the green. Find grass or other soft surfaces for your pup to run or walk on. Rough trails or pavement can often become too hot and may burn your dog’s paws.
Staying in Shape
How to keep your pet fit from the inside out
Do an At-Home Assessment
Know what a healthy physique looks like for your pet’s breed. There are a few ways you can determine your cat or dog’s physical health before consulting a veterinarian. First, look at him from the side. When he’s standing, his belly should smoothly slope upward without any protrusion or excess fat hanging down. Second, get a bird’s-eye view of your pet—you should see a gentle hourglass figure. Last, check his ribs to ensure they’re no more than a quarter-inch beneath his skin.
Know the Stats
A 2018 study from the Association for Pet Obesity Prevention found 59.5% of cats and 55.8% of dogs classified as overweight or obese. Often, owners don’t realize that their pets are overweight, so schedule a vet checkup to see where your pet weighs in.
Cut the Cals
Just like humans, pets can experience weight gain from a high-calorie diet. Even if your pet is at a healthy weight, it's not a bad idea to swap out unhealthy snacks for more nutritious treat options like baby carrots or broccoli for your dog and tuna or salmon flakes for your cat.
Published: June 17, 2020