Ask the Expert - How To Keep Your Dog Healthy And Active

Vitabiotics is proud to support Battersea in their pursuit of animal health. SuperDog vitamins not only help care for your dog, but helps support thousands of other homeless animals in need of veterinary care every year. Plus, once a dog has their new home lined up, Vitabiotics provide them and their new owners with a starter pack of SuperDog to ensure their good health continues in their forever homes. When you purchase a pack of SuperDog, a donation will be made to Battersea, one of the UK’s oldest and most famous animal rescue centres, to help fund its vital work with vulnerable dogs and cats.

Dog Hydrotherapy

We spoke to the experts at Battersea to get their advice on how to keep your dog health and active:

Ask The Expert - How To Keep Your Dog Healthy And Active

When it comes to our dogs’ health, there are lots of different things we can consider.

Age, weight, and lots of other things can all contribute, but there are plenty of things that we can do as owners to help keep our pets active and feeling good. We spoke to Claire Turner, Veterinary Surgeon at Battersea for her top tips and things to look out for. Remember, every animal is different, and you should always speak to your vet about any concerns and to find the best plan of action for your pet.

Give Them Enough Of The Right Type Of Exercise

The best way to keep your dog feeling supple is by making sure that they’re getting enough of the right kinds of exercise for their age, size and overall health. “The amount of exercise your dog needs will vary depending on their age,” says Claire, Veterinary Surgeon at Battersea, “young dogs are still growing, so high-impact activities like running for a long time could be bad for their bones and joints in the long term. Likewise, older dogs may not need to go on very long walks or runs to keep them in shape, and small bursts of playtime might help them use up energy too. Dog owners should also be mindful that flat-faced breeds like Pugs, French Bulldogs and Boxers often have breathing difficulties so may struggle with intense exercise for long periods of time, especially in warmer weather.

Protect Them Against The Weather

Just like humans, dogs don’t do well in extreme weather conditions, especially when it comes to exercise. Claire says, “When the temperature increases it’s best to engage in short, low-level exercise, and if you’re taking them for a walk it should be earlier in the morning or later in the evening when the temperature is cooler.” You should also be aware of the temperature of the ground your dog is walking on to avoid any nasty burns, and always remember to take water. When it’s very wet outside, make sure that you take the time to dry your dog when you come back inside, and if there’s snow on the ground make sure to clean any ice or grit from between their pads.

Find The Right Diet For Them

“Keeping on top of your pet’s diet will have a huge impact on health and mobility,” Claire explains. “Generally speaking, extra weight puts more pressure on their joints, making it more difficult for them to move.” The amount of food your dog will need is entirely dependent on their individual needs, age, exercise requirements and any allergies or digestive issues. We would recommend that you consult your vet about what’s “normal” for your dog, and what kind of nutrition plan will be best suited to them.

Diet And Food Battersea

Consider Low-impact Exercise

“For some animals, a low-impact form of exercise will be more beneficial for their health, especially those with pre-existing conditions such as arthritis, hip dysplasia or an existing injury," Claire says. Swimming, or hydrotherapy is a good low-impact form of exercise as it helps strengthen muscles, keeps ligaments and tendons flexible and circulates blood to stiff joints. The water will also help support your pet’s body weight, making it easier for them to move more freely. “The best place to take your pet for a swim would be your local animal hydrotherapy centre, where experts will be on hand to help make sure your dog is comfortable, and ensure that your pet is getting the most out of their session. Dogs are likely to be fairly open to the idea of a quick dip, especially if they’ve been used to the activity from a young age, but it’s important to never force your dog to do something that they aren’t comfortable with.”

Consider Supplements

Sometimes dogs (and cats) need a bit of extra help to stay flexible and introducing a joint supplement into their diet can be a great way to do that. Claire says, “To pick the best joint supplement for your dog, talk to your vet if you need more advice. They will be able to guide you on what you need to be looking out for in a supplement and how much you should be giving them. Generally with joint supplements, you’re looking for one that includes Glucosamine which can help support collagen production and help cushion your dog’s joints, plus Omega 3 fatty acids to keep joints supple and active."

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Just like humans, dogs require a comprehensive range of vitamins and minerals to stay healthy and agile. SuperDog dog supplements have been scientifically developed to safeguard your dog’s diet and to help maintain overall health and wellbeing in dogs of all sizes. Find out more about our supplements here.

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Alexandra Phillips

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