National Holistic Pet Day – Exercise for Cats and Dogs

national holistic pet day exercise for cats and dogs boulder holistic vet angie krause

It’s Day 5 of our National Holistic Pet Day series and we are celebrating Holistic pets for an entire WEEK with articles and some fabulous giveaways from our sponsors Halo, DoTerra and Dr. Buzby.  Enter our giveaway at the bottom of this post and don’t forget to share through the widget for more chances to win! 

Did you miss the start of the series?  No worries it starts here.

Just like people, exercise for cats and dogs is important to keep them healthy and happy. Not only does exercise help maintain a healthy weight and overall joint health, it helps our furry friends by releasing ‘feel good’ chemicals in their brains. As a society in modern time, we move less and so do our animals. This can cause many health problems including arthritis, respiratory disease, gastrointestinal disease and hormonal imbalances.

Here are few tips on how to get your dog and cat moving.

Dogs:

1. Daily Walks. This is a form of meditation for dogs. Depending on the health of your dog, shoot for no less than 20 minutes per day. Daily walks can change your dog’s life. If your lifestyle doesn’t permit daily walks, consider hiring a dog walking service or a responsible teenager in your neighborhood.

2. Take a Class. There are so many great programs available to dog owners. Basic obedience classes are often offered at your local animal shelter or area trainer. Be sure that the training is all positive. Negative techniques will only cause your dog to have fear or aggression issues. Other activities such as herding, agility and hunting are great to get dogs moving and even thinking!

3. Indoor Games. When the weather is bad, find ways to exercise your dog inside. For example, in the winter, I play ‘stair kong’ with my pug. I throw the kong, with peanut butter of course, up and down the stairs. You can also use a long hallway if you have one. We also play ‘tug of war’ to help get his blood moving. Be creative and use incentives to help your dog move.

Cats

1. Play. Most cats love playing with a toy on a string or some kind of stuffed toy. My favorite is Da Bird. This toy simulates the flight path of a bird and cats go crazy!  You can make many toys at home. For example cardboard boxes and paper grocery bags. For added benefit, let your cat capture the toy and then feed them. This helps fulfill the prey instinct hunting and catching food.

2. Walking. That’s right, take your cat on a walk. Get a harness and a leash and take them out. If you start at a young age, your cat may start to enjoy walking. This activity may not work for all cats, but it is worth a try! Some cats love getting out for walks. For a video tutorial click here.

3. Consider Layout. When possible place the litter box or feeding area on a different floor. This forces your cat to move around doing daily activities. Cat trees can also increase the amount of exercise your cat gets daily.

If you have any comments or questions, leave a comment below. I would love to hear from you.

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