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Thread: Please exercise your pet!

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    SVZ
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    Default Please exercise your pet!



    so sad

    January 25, 2006 -- It’s no secret that exercise has a tremendous effect on our health. These days, medical professionals cannot stress enough the benefits of a regular exercise program:

    • Controls weight
    • Increases energy
    • Improves circulation
    • Enhances lung capacity
    • Oxygenates blood
    • Improves heart rate
    • Builds strong muscles
    • Increases joint mobility
    • Improves your mood
    • Helps with sleep

    The list goes on and on…

    You may not have given it much thought, but our pets reap the same benefits as we do when it comes to exercise. Not to mention, a regular exercise program can help burn nervous energy and reduce boredom for your pet, making them less likely to destroy your property. Your cat may run through the house or bat around a toy on its own, and your dog may chase a squirrel in the backyard or play with his ball. But, this is the extent of their exercise program without someone’s help. That’s why it’s up to us as their caretakers to make sure they are getting the exercise they need.

    Don’t worry, you aren’t going to get any whining, lame excuses or belly aching from your pets regarding exercise. The whole process is playtime in their minds and the bond that grows between you and your pet when you increase their “playtime” will make them love you all the more.

    Be sure and consult with your veterinarian before you begin. Different pets have different needs when it comes to exercise. Large dogs are going to vary from small dogs and older animals are going to vary from younger animals. Plus, the vet can give your pet a routine examination to make sure their health is good and it’s safe to proceed.

    Please keep in mind, too, that if your pet isn’t use to exercising you will need to start out slow and gradually increase over time. Just like people, pets can get sore muscles and strained joints or ligaments if they overexert themselves.

    Exercising Your Dog

    It’s a good idea to start with a moderately paced walk or swim for dogs, giving them a chance to build strength and stamina without straining muscles. Start with 10-15 minutes a day and gradually increase time and distance as the dog gets a little more accustomed to it.

    Always keep an eye out for signs of fatigue and trouble breathing -- excessive panting, rapid heart rate. And, be sure to keep plenty of water on hand. By all means, if your dog wants to stop, let him. That is a strong sign that he has had enough. Please keep in mind that most dogs love to burn energy and because of their enthusiasm and willingness to please their owner, they may not stop until it’s too late. Therefore, it’s very important to watch and know when enough is enough.

    To keep things interesting, you may want to vary their forms of activity: walking, swimming, jogging, playing ball or chasing a Frisbee are great ways to keep them enthused. For a real change of pace, take your dog to the dog park to play with other dogs. He’ll not only burn lots of calories, he’ll get to socialize and make new friends, as well.

    As a safety precaution, allow your dog to walk or jog on soft surfaces in the beginning. Soft or tender pads can become sore or tear under stress. Make sure nails are trimmed so they won’t hang or rip. And, always keep your dog on a leash to avoid traffic or other, more aggressive dogs.

    If you exercise at night, consider a reflective collar or light on your dog, as well as a bright colored or reflective leash that is visible to passersby. Also, you’ll want to wear white or light colored clothing yourself to make sure you can be seen by others.

    Exercising Your Cat
    Getting your cat the exercise he needs is a little more challenging than the dog. Some cats can be trained to walk on a leash, but for most this is not a viable solution. Cats are designed different from dogs, too. Short frequent periods of intense activity are more beneficial to a cat than slower-paced exercise sessions.

    There are a lot of wonderful toys you can purchase to help keep your cat active. But, before you spend a lot of money, you might look around the house. Many times, you’ll find plenty of things around the house to create hours of entertainment for your cat. Basically, cats like to climb, bat, chase, explore and scratch. So, if you work these elements into their routine, you should have some success.
    Things to climb on and explore could be a kitty cat tower from the pet store or some boxes, suit cases and paper sacks. For batting practice, a shiny ball, stuffed mouse, old sock or wadded up piece of paper should do the trick. As for the chase, a string or laser pointer can work wonderfully. And, a scratching post, piece of cardboard or carpet will do for scratching.

    You definitely don’t want to discourage your cat from scratching. This scratching motion will stretch and tone your cat’s shoulder muscles. But, more importantly, it will keep his claws active so that he is less inclined to shred your furniture.

    For an interesting change of pace, you might consider walking or running up and down a flight of stairs or hallway with a string or rope attached to your belt loop. This will get the pulse rate up for both of you! Or, create a challenge for your cat by making him work for his dinner by putting small amounts of food on several plates and scattering them throughout the house at meal time. This will make your cat exercise in order to eat and freshen up some of those tracking skills.

    Remember that exercise is every bit as vital to your pet’s health and well being as good food, clean water and shelter. A consistent exercise program will enhance your pet’s life in many ways. If your busy schedule finds you short on time, you might consider hiring a pet sitter. A pet sitter is more than happy to come out to your house and exercise your pets. They can walk or run with your dog, take him to the park or out to play ball in the back yard. They’ll even exercise and play with the cat. Your pets will absolutely love the extra attention and you’ll have peace of mind knowing that they’re getting the exercise they need.

    YourPetsLife.com offers natural health solutions and wellness information to help enhance the life of your pets. The site is owned and operated by Very Important Pets, LLC. Recently voted “Best in Dallas” by D Magazine, Very Important Pets is an emerging leader in the pet care community.

    YourPetsLife.com

  2. #2
    Elite Member dakodas's Avatar
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    Default Re: Please excercise your pet!

    He just enjoys his food! Leave him alone!

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    A*O
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    Default Re: Please excercise your pet!

    People who over-feed their pets are just as DUMB as parents who stuff their fat kids full of junk and then whine to Dr Phil about their child's unique metabolic problem that's baffled the doctors for years.
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    Elite Member Laurent's Avatar
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    Default Re: Please excercise your pet!

    I have a friend who feeds her dog everything she eats - and small, she ain't. If she eats fast food, she buys the dog his own cheeseburger. The dog is understandably overweight, but she won't feed him dog food. She says he's used to it now and forcing him to eat dog food would be cruel.

    It pisses me off to no end.

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    Hit By Ban Bus! pacific breeze's Avatar
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    Default Re: Please excercise your pet!

    The starving stray cat I took in last July is HUGE! He does not get fed a lot, and he is fed high-quality food. He has been on a special diet for a stomach problem he had, and now he is on lite dry food and a spoonful of wet food with each serving. He eats twice a day, with no snacks, and he's just getting bigger and bigger.

    It could be a metabolic problem, but this cat spent who knows how long eating garbage etc. and will still go after bread, hell anything, if he gets a chance. It's kind of embarrassing -- he's getting so fat that he can't really wash himself properly. Luckily my skinny Siamese does it for him.

    He plays with toys and can still run amazingly fast if he hears/smells/thinks food is in the offing.

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    Gold Member Elise's Avatar
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    Default Re: Please excercise your pet!

    I don't exercise my kitty, but he plays a lot around the house. He'll play & jump around & bat my stuff around & wear himself out & come to bed. I think that's enough.

    He is getting fat--I think I feed him too much...& I give him bites of people food.
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    A*O
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    Default Re: Please excercise your pet!

    My dogs get a quarter tin of proper dog food each twice a day and that's it. NO snacks/treats except on very rare occasions and absolutely NO feeding scraps from the humans table. They've never had them and so never even bother us when we are eating. I hate dogs that pester/beg for food while you are eating. They also get a good run in the offleash park or the beach every day and another walk around the block before bed.
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    Super Moderator Tati's Avatar
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    Default Re: Please excercise your pet!

    My cat gets TONS of exercise. He's just over a year old, so for now, he's very excitable and tends to go on sprees where he tears through the house, one end to another, all three storeys, for about a half-hour, bouncng off the walls and such. He also follows us constantly, so he ends up going up and down the stairs a lot, following us to the bathroom or wherever, and of course he runs and pounces while doing it. This is in addition to all his normal kitty stuff. He actually likes to go for walks too.

    I just don't understand how people can fail to exercise their pet. Exercise seems to me an implicit part of the whole pet thing. With a dog especially, you'd think the need would be obvious.
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    Elite Member Laurent's Avatar
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    Default Re: Please excercise your pet!

    Quote Originally Posted by A*O
    I hate dogs that pester/beg for food while you are eating.
    That burns me up, too. I've been around begging dogs before and the owners never think it's a big deal. Acutally had one tell me that if I'd give the dog something off my plate, he'd leave me alone and then got offended when I refused.

  10. #10
    Gold Member IceQueen's Avatar
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    Default Re: Please excercise your pet!

    I chase my cat around the house, but it's fair game - I hide and he looks for me and the runs when I 'catch' him.

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    Elite Member moomies's Avatar
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    Default Re: Please excercise your pet!

    Oh I play hide and seek with my dog, too. But he gets quite upset cuz he has some separation anxiety issues...

    If you think it's crazy, you ain't seen a thing. Just wait until we're goin down in flames.

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    Hit By Ban Bus! WickedHo's Avatar
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    Default Re: Please excercise your pet!

    Yeah, Pacific, my shelter kitty was skinny when I got him, but now he's gotten tubby! When he turns a year old I'll start feeding him adult cat food and make sure it's the kind for fattish indoor cats. As far as him bathing himself? So far, so good! Not too fat yet, heh heh...

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    Elite Member Tiara's Avatar
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    Default Re: Please excercise your pet!

    Aww he looks like a big barrel!!

    My 16 year old dog is slightly plump but he's still in good shape for his age. We only take him for walks every now and again now because he gets tired really quickly.

    I know some dogs will just eat whatever you put in front of them until they're sick but none of our dogs are like that. They have dog buscuits in their bowls all the time so they just go and help themselves whenever they feel like, and we give them a bowl of wet food once a day that they eat at their leisure instead of gulping the lot down in one go. We also give them healthy dog treats every now and again.

    We rarely give them our on food because more often than not it gives them runny poos!
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    Elite Member Tenaj's Avatar
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    Default Re: Please excercise your pet!

    Quote Originally Posted by moomies
    Oh I play hide and seek with my dog, too. But he gets quite upset cuz he has some separation anxiety issues...
    Just like my dog! When my boyf walks him on the field he'll hide behind a tree and Jake gets so upset. I don't do it to him because I hate to see him worried.

    Jake gets loads of excercise, he gets long runs on this field. We take him in the car and he starts whimpering when he knows we are near.

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    Elite Member Tiara's Avatar
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    Default Re: Please exercise your pet!

    My Chesney starts barking and wimpering if I hide from him, he hates it!

    When I was younger me and my mum took my old dog to the shops with us, we tied him up outside just while we nipped in and when we come out we thought it'd be funny to ignore him and pretend we'd forgot about him (cruel I know!) We walked off and hit behind a wall looking at him, he looked really sad like he'd been left their for hours, bless him, his little stump was wagging so fast when we came round giving him loads of fuss
    No man is worth your tears, but once you find one that is, he won't make you cry
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