New Year’s Resolution for Your Pet: Get Fit!
It’s that time of year when we put pen to paper and look at our goals for the year ahead. On most people’s list, health and fitness rank in the top ten with a goal to lose weight, get fit and focus more on health. Our pets also need to maintain the right weight and daily exercise in order to live a longer and healthy life.
The team at Union Lake Pet Services wants to help you maintain that New Year’s resolution for your pet to get more fit and healthy. We have tailored 8 exercise and diet tips to the cold months of winter so that you can more easily achieve them in the months ahead. Let’s begin!
Indoor Fitness for Pets
When the weather outside is frightful (you know the rest), indoor exercise is a must! Most things you can do outside with your furry one can be done indoors with a little creativity. Here are a few fitness favorites.
- Walking on the treadmill – If you have an old treadmill that has collected dust, then break it out. Many pets can learn to walk on a treadmill alone or with you on a leash. This indoor walking regimen can serve you well when the weather outside is too cold for furry pals.
- Dancing – There is nothing better than jamming to your favorite Spotify list…actually, there is something better! Dancing with your four-legged pal. Put together an energetic mix that is suitable for dancing, clear the floor, and groove. When you get into dancing, chances are, your pet will get into the spirit by jumping, hopping, running around, etc.
- Indoor agility – An obstacle or agility course for your pet is good for both cats and dogs. For your dog, put together an agility routine you can train them to do. Add things like a baby gate, pool noodles, kiddie pool filled with balls, boxes, etc. and watch them go through the course. Cats will benefit if you add more things to climb on and run across. Be creative with your designs!
- Trick training – If your pet is keen on learning new things (and most are!), try your hand at trick training. Teach them to roll over, shake, dance, kiss, spin, and a number of other cool tricks. We also offer a variety of indoor training classes in winter that will get your dog moving.
- Fetch – Bring the outdoors in by playing a rowdy game of fetch in the basement, rec room, or another suitable area. You can also choose a soft item to play fetch with, like a Nerf ball or stuffed toys. Many cats really enjoy fetch, too, with their favorite catnip-filled toy.
- Walking stairs – Stair walking is one of the very best ways to get aerobic exercise. You can have your pet join you in this by walking steps in your home. Just use a leash and walk up and down with your best playlist on. Instead of walking them on a leash, use a toy that they can fetch up and down steps.
- Hide-and-Seek – Hide-and-seek can prompt your pet to run around the house enthusiastically. Hide a favorite toy (or yourself) and tell them to find it. It can be a challenging and energetic game for you both, and will fill a few of those lost exercise hours.
- Props and toys – Ditch the old toys and games and purchase some new ones. Search out the ones that encourage more activity, like a Cat Dancer, feather toy, tug of war ropes, things to fetch, laser pointer, etc.
- Daycare or Enrichment Days – If you don’t have time for indoor fitness activities, consider dropping off your dog for enrichment training or doggie daycare. Enrichment training exercises the body as well as engaging the mind to keep your dog happy. Drop off your dog while you are working or shopping and we will find fun activities that your dog enjoys learning.
A Closer Look at Daily Feeding
Because your pet won’t get as much exercise as when they can spend more time outside, be more aware of your food and treat rewards. Excess treats along with less vigorous exercise can lead your pet to gain unwanted weight. If your pet isn’t getting as much exercise, even with the use of indoor activities, talk to your veterinarian. You may need to adjust their food intake and be more stringent about treats.
New Year’s Resolution for Your Pet
Have you made a New Year’s resolution for your pet? Could it be brushing their teeth more, or giving them more quality time? Be sure to add a resolution for a new activity program that includes furry ones or running with them. We’d love to hear about them. Simply post on our Facebook or mention it to us when they are at their next examination.
Do you have questions about indoor pet activities or exercise? Please call us!