Toronto Veterinarians - Pet Wellness Network

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Contact Willowdale Animal Hospital

Open 24 Hours, Year Round

256 Sheppard Ave. West
Toronto, ON M2N 1N3
(416) 222-5409

Even for the most active among us it’s tough to keep up our fitness levels during the winter months.  There are just so many distractions and more comforting ways to spend our time. The holidays—Christmas, Valentine’s Day, St. Patrick’s Day and Easter—don’t help either, all that chocolate, wine and beer are oh so tempting! It takes a lot of will power to step outside on a frosty morning and go for a jog. Waking up in the dark and heading to the gym in the early morning isn’t much more appealing. As tough as it may seem for you, let’s think about how difficult it must be for our dogs and cats, who are not in full control of their exercise habits. You may not want to go to the gym but your pup doesn’t have that choice, his health and fitness, or alternatively, his weight gain is entirely in your hands.

Much like their human owners, dogs and cats tend to gain weight in the wintertime. Sometimes this can be good thing. If your feline friend is an outdoor cat, that extra layer of fat will help keep her warm during the cold winter days. Other than this exception, you should try to keep you pet’s weight as consistent as possible.  With Spring on its way, the team at Toronto’s Pet Wellness Network suggest a regime of a healthy diet and regular exercise, to help combat your pet’s winter weight gain. Here are some tips for getting your pet back into shape:

Most importantly schedule a pet health exam with any of our veterinary hospitals, let your veterinarians examine your pet’s health status and make sure there are not major health issues.


· Remember all those holidays I just mentioned, let’s not fool ourselves and pretend we don’t feed the four-legged family member to some extra goodies too. Try to limit the amount of treats you and other family members feed your pet. You may not think they’re getting too much, but don’t forget that unless you live alone, there is probably more than one person feeding your pet. Set a limit of how many treats each of your family members are allowed to disburse on a daily basis. This will ensure no one is doing any over feeding.

· Consider changing your pet food to a veterinary diet! These diets are specially formulated to satisfy your pet’s nutritional needs without adding unnecessary fat and calories to their diet.











·If you are changing food brands make sure you double-check the dosage, ‘a scoop’ can vary across different types of food.


· Walk, walk, walk. We know it’s cold been cold, but now there’s no excuse. So get out there and get your pet reacquainted with your neighbourhood.

· If you have a neighbour with a dog, schedule your walks together! This way you can keep each other in check and ensure you don’t miss days.

· Taking your dog to a dog park is even better than walking. Running and bounding with other dogs is the best way to tackle those extra winter lbs.

· If your dealing with your cat’s winter weight, get on all fours and start playing! Just 10 mins of active play daily can dramatically impact your cat’s weight and overall health.

· Pick up some new toys and catnip! As you know, cats can get board quickly and freshening up their methods of entertainment on a regular basis can keep them active and help drop any extra lbs!

If you feel your pet is dramatically overweight, give us call. We can help you develop a plan to deal with the problem, or diagnose any underlying issue that may be causing weight gain. Together we can get your pet on the right track to spring into optimal health!

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