How to stay fit with Fido and other pets
Nov 9, 2011, 3:55 p.m.
Pets are great cuddlers, but they need their exercise just like humans do. Just like us, they need changes of scenery, fresh air, and muscle movement to keep them from getting depressed and gaining weight. And guess what? You're all they've got!
You can cuddle later. Until then, get up and get moving! Here's some ideas to get you started:
Get Outta Here!
Daily walks around the neighborhood are great, but they start to become limiting quickly. Getting in the car and driving your dog to the nearest hiking trail or park might turn your usual 15-minute walk into a 30-minute walk, burning more calories while you both enjoy new sights and sounds.
Getting fit doesn't have to mean strenuous exercise. Gentle stretching does so much for balancing the body and emotions, as well as keeping muscles flexible. Doga is yoga for dogs. It consists of an owner doing simple stretches while connecting with their pet and helping their pet stretch and relax. Dog enthusiasts say the activity helps them bond with their dogs, who love the attention. For more information, visit dogdog.com.
Cats have an amazing ability to still get excited about that same string on a stick toy they've played with for years. It doesn't have to stop there. Get off the couch and drag the string around the house while jogging. You'll both get a quick little workout, as long as you don't jog straight to the refrigerator.
Many cats can also be taught to walk outside on a leash with the help of a harness that they can't wriggle out of. All you need to do is slowly get the cat used to the harness by putting it on the cat for short periods of time every day. Eventually add the leash indoors, working your way up to outdoor exploration.
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