Cat~ercises and Dog~ercises

Swimming is a great exercise for both dog and owner.

Swimming is a great exercise for both dog and owner.

Jan Glenn’s | Pawsitively  Purrfect –

 I have had overweight pets through the years, and unfortunately, I have one now. My pooch Princess Grace Kelly, who has asked me to quit writing in my column about her weight problem, could stand to lose about five pounds. Being overweight – whether it is the owner or pet – can lead to heart disease, diabetes, arthritis and even cancer.

Before you start your pet on an exercise program, talk to the pet’s veterinarian. Certain exercises, such as running or even jogging, are not recommended for puppies whose bones haven’t finished growing. Short-legged dogs don’t need as much walking as larger dogs, and flat-nosed dogs can have trouble catching their breath. Here are 10 fun ideas on how you and Fido can “dog-ercise” together:

  • 1. Take a hike. If you are not used to strenuous exercise, start with a walk, and build from there. Human bonding is great for the animal.
  • 2. Cut back on treats. Instead of rewarding Bowser with treats, give him some attention. If you want to give your dog a treat, break it in half, and put the other half away for another day.
  • 3. Visit the dog park. When you get there, toss the Frisbee around, and you both will get some exercise.
  • 4. Go for a swim with your dog. It is a great exercise for both of you!
  • 5. Jog or run. Don’t forget to bring a water bottle and foldable bowl, so you and your dog can rehydrate.
  • 6. Play tug-of-war using a towel. This can help build upper body strength.
  • 7. Play catch. Your pal will enjoy the thrill – and spending time with you!
  • 8. Take the stairs on rainy days. If you don’t have stairs, then a treadmill will give you both a good workout.
  • 9. Sign up for an exercise class. There is an agility class called “doga,” which is a form of yoga designed for both pet and owner.
  • 10. Resistance walking is a fabulous form of exercise. Walk your dog in the snow, sand or shallow water on the beach.
Wand-style toys provide fun and exercise for felines.

Wand-style toys provide fun and exercise for felines.

Unlike dogs, cats cannot be hitched to the end of a leash and taken for a stroll around the neighborhood. It may take some imagination, along with some trial and error, but you can find ways to encourage your kitty to be more active. Here are some ideas to keep your cat in shape and entertained:

  • 1. Catch the light. Shine a flashlight on the floor and walls, and let the kitties play.
  • 2. Give your cat a wand. This is a good follow-up to the light. Get one of the flexible, wand-style toys with a feather or mouse. This is great for the hunter in your feline.
  • 3. Bring out the hunter in your cat. Put a few cat treats in different places around the house.
  • 4. Give your cat toys. Homemade or pet shop toys encourage your kitty to keep moving.
  • 5. Try a cat tower. Multi-layered cat towers are a good way to ensure your cat has plenty of places to climb and play.
  • 6.Try “boxing.” Let your cat play in a box or paper bag. Aim to spend about 10 to 15 minutes a few times each day engaging your cat in some form of activity. Young cats and kittens will find their own entertainment. Older cats are tougher – just like humans!