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by Sloan McKinney
It’s really only natural that we’d discuss the health of our pets, including the importance of exercising our animals on a daily level. `
In a previous post, we discussed “killing our pets with kindness” when it comes to the growing obesity problems with our four-legged companions that’s sweeping the nation and becoming a dangerous, growing global dilemma.
If our own health is at risk, that’s on us, but passing this pattern onto our pets is something we can’t ignore. Being overweight carries the same health risks for humans as it does for animals, everything from diabetes to heart problems are associated with excessive weight gain.
Combating This Conundrum
An important part of pet ownership is committing ourselves to caring for them on a daily basis. Everything from potty training to feeding them and putting up with day-to-day challenges that come along with this commitment. Dogs need to be walked, cats need to be exercised and they both need our daily love and support. It sounds simple enough, but sometimes given our often daily hectic schedules and lifestyles, it can be challenging at best.
So instead of dealing with our constraints, we simply need to accept this challenge and face it head on. Scheduling time with our best friends is as simple as recognizing the time we have with them and embracing these moments. Getting up in the morning, coming home from work or school, are some of the common times we share with them.
Absence Makes The Heart Grow Thinner
On the other hand, we can do some little deeds that will make them more active during our absence. Leaving them little treats hidden around our home will give them the opportunity to run around when we’re not around. Giving them interactive toys to play with when we’re not present will peak their interest and keep them active when we’re not there for them.
5 WINTER EXERCISING TIPS FOR DOGS
When temperatures drop during winter, it might be tempting to stay indoors with your dog where it’s warm. However, it’s still important for dogs to get exercise, even when it’s cold out. Keep in mind that many dogs enjoy playing in the snow, and you can cover your dog’s feet and body for extra warmth while you’re outside. Instead of letting the cold and snow stop you and your dog from having fun, consider doing the following activities this winter.
HIDE AND SEEK
Dogs have an excellent sense of smell, even in winter when the ground is covered in snow. You can give your dog a mental and physical workout by hiding a treat or toy, then having her find out by sniffing around. This tracking activity makes good use of your dog’s sense of smell while also being a fun way to spend time outside with your pet.
One of the easiest ways to keep dogs warm while exercising outside in winter is by playing fetch. Throw a ball or another object around in your yard or at the local dog park and have your dog fetch it. Your dog will get plenty of exercise without getting too cold or uncomfortable.
This is a newer way to keep dogs busy outdoors during winter. Skijoring involves putting on a pair of skis and attaching a special harness to your dog. The idea is that your dog will pull you around on your skis while you go walking around in the snow.
If your dog loves being out in the snow, strap on a pair of snowshoes and go for a hike or a walk with your pet. You’ll have an easy time getting around in the snow, and your dog will get a good workout while exploring or digging through the snow.
Snowball toss is a fun and simple way to make sure your dog gets exercise during winter. Grab some snowballs and throw them so your dog can try to catch them or chase after them. Your dog will get a good cardio workout by running around or jumping.
Don’t let winter weather prevent you from spending time outside with your dog. Just remember to bundle up, and make sure your dog’s paws and body are protected from the cold.
Check out this infographic on some ways we can exercise with (and without) our pets. It’s not that difficult for all of us to be healthier and active in the long run.