Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Pet Advice for May

How much exercise is the “right” amount for my dog?

It really depends on the size, age and breed of your dog as to how much exercise is the “right” amount of exercise for your dog. If you have a larger dog, he will need more activity than a smaller dog. Some dogs that are the same size but a different breed need more exercise. If you notice that your dog is gaining weight, you could be feeding him too much and/or he may not be getting enough exercise.

Exercise is important in keeping your dog’s muscles tone, joint and mind healthy. At the very least, your dog should have some type of exercise at least three times each day for 15 minutes at a time. Never exercise your dog right after he eats. If your dog is overweight or simply out of shape, you will need to start an exercise program slowly. This will allow him to build up on time and intensity at a good even pace.

Dog’s exercise routines do not have to be boring and dreadful. You can incorporate exercise during playtime. You will likely benefit from exercising your dog, as well! Here are a couple of ideas to get you started thinking of some ideas to exercise your loyal companion.

Fetch – This is a tried and true traditional game that has been around for years and years. The great thing about this game is that it is very effective for exercise and only requires something to throw and your time. There are a number of products you can purchase for fetch, or you can go outside and pick up a thick stick and throw. That is my dog’s favorite fetch “toy”. It would be beneficial to you and your dog to do some simple training. Make your dog sit. Throw the stick or whatever you choose, and say fetch. Once your dog retrieves the stick, say “come” and point to your feet. Once they are at your feet, say “leave it” or “out” and start over. Don’t go running after your dog. This can be frustrating for both you and your dog. This is excellent exercise for you dog.

Jogging- This is obviously a great exercise for both you and your dog. Your dog would need to be trained to heel and run next to you for his own safety. But, this is something you and your dog can do together, and he will love it.

Walks – This is an entertaining form of exercise for you and your dog. You can go for walks in the park or down the street or on a mountain trail. Whatever you decide, if you include your dog, he will not only be healthy, but extremely happy. Don’t forget if it is cold outside to get him a coat to keep his muscles warm.

After that exercise routine, your dog will like be ready for a good nap. He will likely be ready for a long nap on his pet bed.

What are some kinds of exercises to keep my cat healthy and not so “fat”?

Cats actually have the ability to play, too. In fact, many times they will amuse themselves for quite some time. You could encourage your cat to play by incorporating some of these games or ideas into their everyday routine.

Consider a multi-tiered cat tree. They will be able to jump up and down on the different tiers, which will not only give them a good workout, but it will help improve balance and coordination.
A cat exercise wheel is pretty cool. It will help their heart and it is simply just so much fun watching them get on and running.

Throwing down a milk ring is popular among cat owners. Your cat will entertain himself by throwing it up in the air and chasing after it.

Slithering a snake or yarn is another way to get your cat up and moving. Their nature is to pounce. They love to chase after and pounce on small moving items. It is so much fun to watch. They are so cute and really enjoy playing.

After playing with your cat, you can put her in a cat stroller and take her out for a walk to get some fresh air. Or, your cat may likely take a long nap after all of that playtime!

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