25 Feb How to get fit with your pet
Now that most people have forgotten their new year’s resolutions and we can finally start looking ahead to the better weather, it’s time to get out there and be active. If you’re still struggling with a bit of extra Christmas weight or just want to get fit in time for summer, we’ve got some great ideas to help you get fit with your pet:
Get outside into the fresh air
Walking is great for gentle daily exercise but if you’re bored of trekking round the houses, get out and explore the great outdoors. Changing your usual walk for a nature trail will mentally stimulate your dog and make it more interesting for you. Take treats out or join up with a friend to make your walks interesting and challenging each time. You can make the most of your local area by finding nearby walks and trails by using search and share sites like Dog Friendly Britain and Walkiees.
Dress for the occasion
Your dog needs at least 45 minutes of exercise a day, depending upon his size, so you will need to ensure you dress warm enough to stay out long enough for exercise. Puppies and older dogs may also benefit from wearing an extra winter coat if it’s particularly chilly.
The salt and cold can wreak havoc on your dog’s paws; so after outside exercise, make sure you wash them thoroughly to ensure they aren’t chapped. Using fido-friendly balms can help soothe your dog’s paw pads and protect them from the tough winter elements.
You don’t always have to go outside to exercise your pet. Dogs love to play games wherever they are, so why not set up an indoor agility course, or, if your dog doesn’t suffer from hip or arthritis health problems, throw a ball up the stairs.
Cats can also get involved with indoor games so get your imagination going to keep your cat stimulated during the colder weather. You could try our cat yoga poses or entertain your cat with fishing rod toys that they can chase and catch.
Teaching your pet new commands or tricks helps maintain their obedience, exercising your pet’s mind and body.
If you don’t fancy putting in hours of training for novelty tricks, you could train your dog to help around the house. For example, picking up and putting away his toys or helping with chores in the garden.
Cats can also learn tricks, although you may have to be more patient as cats will generally only do things if they feel like it! You could teach your cat to shake paws or play fetch, using training techniques such as treats or a clicker.
Dog gyms or playdates
You don’t have to think of things on your own to keep Fido fit. If your furry friend is socialised, you can take her to your local doggie gym or arrange a playdate with her favourite pals. Taking her to your local doggie gym is a great way to mix up her exercise, but if you don’t have one close by, try using a treadmill at home.