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!  

HOW A CAT’S DNA AFFECTS BEHAVIOR

When it comes to the topic of how a cat’s DNA affects behavior, I don’t know a single person who is more knowledgeable. Who am I referring to? None other than the amazing Jackson Galaxy. 

You probably already know him from his enormously successful tv show “My Cat From Hell.” In addition to that, he has authored several best-selling books. And, you may have heard, too, about and his impactful advocacy work across the USA. 

Companion cat’s DNA affects behavior due to inherited wild cat ancestor instincts and skills. Play hunting and chasing provide important physical and mental benefits
Companion cat’s DNA affects behavior due to inherited wild cat ancestor instincts and skills. Enrichment through play hunting and chasing provides important physical and mental benefits

A Jackson Galaxy Term

Jackson Galaxy often uses the term “raw cat,” which describes what all felines are pre-programmed to do. If you haven’t already realized what it actually means, please take note. I can’t stress enough how important this is. After all, if you want to understand what your cat does and why, it really is fundamental. So, let’s take a look at a cat’s usual 24-hour behavior cycle.

First of all NAP

Then WAKE UP

  Next comes HUNT

 Followed by CATCH

Then KILL

And, of course EAT

 After all this is GROOM

Final full circle NAP

Wild And Not So Wild

I wonder if you’ve ever spent time observing wild cats, either in their natural habitat or at a sanctuary somewhere. And, if you’ve also noticed how all domesticated cats have a lot of characteristics in common. There are some striking similarities between the two, aren’t there? That’s because genetics determine how felines act, both in the wild, and in the home.

My point here is that in order to understand why our companion felines act the way they do, we need to look at their ancestors. And, this is the work that zoologists and other animal experts have done in the past and continue to do even today. As a result of their research, we are now able to provide a better quality of life for the animals we care for at home.

Let me give you a brief example. As we already know, 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. As for domesticated cats, when given the opportunity, they will behave in a similar fashion. They, too, love to hunt, kill and eat size-appropriate prey, such as lizards and mice. This is instinct. It’s in their DNA. That’s what cats do!

Play Hunting Activity For Indoor Cats

There are a number of ways you can get involved to enrich their life once you figure out how a cat’s DNA affects its behavior. Below are some suggestions and explanations so that your felines can satisfy their prewired hunting instincts and skills. Try to give them several play/workout sessions each day.

The Activities 

What cats love to do. They delight in running, pouncing, jumping,  chasing, searching and batting.

The Tools 

Mostly inexpensive, here are a few ideas to fulfill your cat’s activity needs. There are throw toys that make a noise, and wands with dangling objects. Plus, a laser beam never fails to give enjoyment. 

How about some interactive toys? For example, balls that spin and roll around on a track. Or a play station for pushing, poking and moving objects. Also, if your budget allows, a multi-level cat tower will give Felix and Fluffy multiple options to jump, bat, be on the look out, and even snooze. 

The Benefits

Finally, but most importantly, are the physical and mental benefits of keeping cats occupied and free from boredom. They result from the combination of activities and tools I already mentioned. In just a few words, they include cardiovascular health, agility, reflex acuity, muscle tone, and mental stimulation. 

To Sum Up

The message throughout my blog is that genetics determine how felines act. I now hope that pet parents who didn’t fully realize what all felines are pre-programmed to do, can make some meaningful changes. Love manifests itself in enrichment so that their companions can enjoy active and purposeful lives. 

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