DOG EXERCISE CONSISTENCY IS KEY

Whatever the exercise, consistency is key to keeping your dog active, healthy and happy
You will rarely meet a dog that doesn’t love the physical challenge of a good ball game
A daily exercise routine for your dog is necessary to safeguard his physical and emotional health
Another form of exercise, this dog proudly carries his big stick

Today’s blog is about physical activity with a focus on why dog exercise consistency is key. 

An appropriate range of physical activities, sometimes with the use of tools, provide the benefits required for your pets to be healthy and stay healthy. We tell humans this all the time, and the exact same principles apply to the dogs in our lives.

This may be stating the obvious but the whole point here is to give some of you a little nudge to actually do so. And, to be sensible about it. To factor in physical condition, the breed’s DNA, your surroundings, and climatic conditions.

Consistency Is A Major Factor

On average, 20 minutes of aerobic activity daily is considered necessary for your dog’s health. It is the recommended time a pet parent should put aside for this purpose. Not only is it vital for his overall physical well-being, it also helps alleviate boredom and destructive behaviors.

Here’s the next point to bear in mind. Regardless of what type of exercise it actually is, at least some activity must be done each and every day. Also, even though your intentions are good, it’s not wise to over-indulge. By that I mean, little or no physical activity during the typical work week, then “binge” at the weekend.

On top of that, more injuries occur when physical exertion is not increased gradually. As an example, what do amateur and professional athletes do? They warm up and cool down, by stretching and prepping. Consequently, precautionary measures like these will minimize the likelihood your pet will suffer strains and sprains.

Here are some ideas.

Activities: 
  • Walking briskly is basic good exercise that most pet parents can do.
  • Jogging is an ideal activity for more athletically inclined humans and canines.
  • Fetching a ball or catching a frisbee is easily done in the confines of a fenced-in back yard.
  • When dogs really enjoy the outdoors they often love to be their family’s hiking companion.
  • Swimming is a fabulous activity for a broad range of dogs that can choose how playfully or strenuously they want to participate.
  • Another outdoor option is having your dog trot alongside while you are bicycling. However, this does require thorough training and a high degree of caution for it to be safe for everyone involved.
  • Treadmill workouts are gaining popularity especially in areas that are prone to harsh weather conditions that can occur at any time of year. They also require training and extreme caution. And, if you didn’t already know, there are several treadmills designed specifically for canines. So go check them out.
Tools: 
  • Ball, frisbee, stick (inexpensive, exercise-promoting toys)
  • Hide and seek objects (be creative)
  • Set up an agility course (even a small, simple one for beginners and less energetic breeds can work wonders)
Benefits:
  • These include cardiovascular health, agility, reflex acuity, and muscle tone.
  • Exercise provides mental stimulation and is highly beneficial in the effort to control destructive behavior.

Find out what motivates your dog. Have fun. Enjoy your quality time together. Be creative but, above all, be sensible. And, please make an effort to be consistent. A health, active dog is a happy dog.

Together, let’s keep our precious pets healthy, happy and safe!  

UNDERSTANDING YOUR CAT’S DNA AND PHYSICAL NEEDS

A healthy, happy cat gets exercise and mental stimulation
Cat gets a workout playing with a feather stick

I don’t know a single person who is more knowledgeable about cat behavior than the amazing Jackson Galaxy. You probably know him from his tv show “My Cat From Hell,” his best-selling books and advocacy work.

He often uses the term “raw cat” to describe what all felines are pre-programmed to do. If you haven’t already realized this, please take note because it is fundamental for understanding what your cat does and why. Here’s the behavior cycle.

nap
wake up
hunt
catch
kill
eat
groom
nap

Wild And Not So Wild
Wild cats, from the biggest species (Siberian Tiger) down to the smallest (Rusty-Spotted Cat), are hunters. They hunt for survival and spend many hours, every single day, doing precisely that.

Given the opportunity, domesticated cats, also love to hunt, kill and eat tiny prey, such as lizards and mice.

Physical Activity And Energy Expenditure For Indoor Cats
You can help your feline companion satisfy its innate hunting instincts and skills with several play/workout sessions each day. Here’s what to do and why it’s so beneficial.

The Activities:
* running
* pouncing
* jumping
* chasing
* searching
* batting

The Tools:
* multi-level cat tower
* throw toys that make a noise
* wands with dangling objects
* interactive toys
* laser beam

The Benefits (Physical and Mental):
* cardiovascular health
* agility
* reflex acuity
* muscle tone
* mental stimulation

Together, let’s keep our precious pets healthy, happy and safe!