Spring into fitness for a healthier, happier pet

Spring brings not only warmer weather, but also new life and optimism after a long winter. When those flowers and green leaves start appearing, it’s no surprise that many of us start thinking about getting outside and working on our health. And as a pet owner, you’re in luck, because our furry friends are proven to promote wellness in multiple ways, from reducing stress and anxiety to providing motivation for a walk or run1. Studies also show that pet owners have less depression, lower blood pressure in stressful situations, and even visit the doctor less often2.

Make positive choices

Since your pet is so good for your health, of course you’ll want to protect theirs too. Doing everything you can to support your mutual wellness is the best way to help ensure you’ll enjoy a long, happy life as a family. Here are some steps you can start taking from your very first day together.

woman running with a golden retriever

Get your exercise — A workout promotes the release of beneficial brain chemicals, diminishes stress, and helps to keep both you and your pet at a healthy weight. Walking, jogging, or practicing yoga for 30 minutes can burn 200–350 calories in humans, while a 60-minute hike burns up to 450 and helps boost heart health. All forms of exercise help your pet work off excess energy, strengthen their bond with you, and enjoy the stimulation of new sights and smells if outdoors. Playtime counts too—even if it’s raining, you can still help your cat or dog stay active indoors with the help of toys.

human hand feeding a dog and a cat eating out of its bowl

Eat right — Whether you want to lose weight or just work on nutrition, diet is an important component of wellness. Your pet should avoid sweets, caffeine, and fatty foods like burgers and chicken wings, as well as anything that might be toxic, such as garlic, onions and grapes. However, there are also many healthy foods that you can enjoy together, including peanut butter, brown rice and bananas for dogs; eggs, tuna and broccoli for cats; and chicken and carrots for both. (Be sure to consult your vet for advice on your pet’s specific nutritional needs.) 

vet petting a dog

Schedule those checkups — Regular medical exams are critical for both you and your pet. Your doctor can ensure your immune system and overall health are up to speed as well as recommending screenings based on your age group3, while your pet’s veterinarian can check for common dental issues and provide the vaccinations, heartworm prevention and deworming they need to stay well4. In all cases, annual visits—or more frequent ones, according to your doctor or vet’s recommendation—are a great opportunity to catch minor problems before they become major ones that can threaten your future together.

Help keep health affordable

While no one wants to put a price on their best friend’s health, the reality is that pets’ healthcare, like humans’, doesn’t come for free. Pet owners may spend anywhere from $9,000 to $13,000 on medical treatments over their companions’ lifetimes5, and unexpected events like bites, fractures and object ingestion can cost thousands all at once6

As the cost of daily living increases, those expenses can be tougher than ever to absorb. Fortunately, with pet insurance, you can help offset the financial pain and ensure that your pets get the high-quality care they deserve. Whether you’re faced with a life-or-death emergency or a chronic illness, having insurance means you can make decisions based on what’s best for your pet. 

Ready to take the next step towards better health for yourself and your pet? Visit PetsNationwide.com or contact your employer’s HR representative for more information on pet insurance.


1.  “8 Ways Pets Improve Your Health and Wellbeing” 
2. “The Health and Mood-Boosting Benefits of Pets” 
3. “The Importance of a Wellness Checkup”
4. “Importance of wellness exams”
5. “Pets Are Like Family, But as Health Costs Rise, Few Are Insured That Way”
6. “Is Pet Insurance Worth It? Here’s a Veterinarian’s Perspective”