What are the best ways to keep your pup — and you — active and moving? Here's five expert tips to get your dog fitter and healthier!
(BPT) - Face it, getting enough exercise is tough for everyone, and it's certainly true when it comes to our pets. The amount of exercise your dog may need varies, depending on the age, size and breed, but most dogs need more exercise than they're getting, especially during the colder months when we all prefer to stay indoors. Consult your veterinarian for guidelines about how much exercise your dog should be getting to stay in top condition, then make a plan to add more pep to your dog's step.
Dr. Jeff Weber, Emmy award-winning celebrity veterinarian, says that play and exercise are key to keeping our four-legged friends healthy: "Just like humans, there is a strong correlation to obesity in pets when they eat more and exercise less. In fact, it has been estimated that up to 50 percent of dogs and cats in this country are overweight or, worse yet, obese. It's important to get your pet up and moving."
What are the best ways to keep your pup — and you — active and moving?
1. Vary your walking route
When you're walking your dog, switch up the route now and then to keep it more interesting for both of you. Work on adding a few minutes or a couple of extra blocks to your walk any chance you get, and you’ll both benefit from the extra steps.
2. Pick up the pace
Rather than just taking a leisurely stroll, walk with purpose, like you’re trying to get somewhere. This will make it a more heart-healthy workout for the both of you. Ease into it slowly, trying 5 minutes quicker, followed by 5 minutes slower, until you both get used to the faster pace. Enlist different family members to join you or take turns at the walks to vary the walking pace your dog experiences.
3. Bring friends along
You’re more likely to enjoy and stick with regular walking dates if you can make some of your walks into a social occasion, whether your friends also have dogs or not. Instead of meeting someone for coffee or drinks, meet up with them for a walk-and-talk with your dogs.
4. Make time for active play
In addition to walking every day, mix it up! Spend a little extra time encouraging active play like a good game of fetch with your dog. You can play fetch at a nearby park or right in your yard, if you have enough space for your dog to run around. Not good at throwing? No worries — a toy like Chuckit! launcher from Petmate can keep your dog engaged and excited to run and fetch for a lively, active play session that will be fun for both of you.
"Fetch play is a terrific way to increase stamina and keep your pup in shape,” says Weber.
The interactive game of fetch encourages healthy movement and cardiovascular endurance for pets and pet owners, especially as active play and movement declines when the weather gets colder. Fetch is also an effective way to help train and develop positive behavior in puppies or newly adopted four-legged family members.
5. Exercise their brains
Create an obstacle course in your yard or use puzzle games to help keep your dogs mentally active — which can relieve boredom for dogs who spend time alone.
Research your dog's breed to discover what stimulus they are most likely to respond to, so you can find new toys and activities your dog will love. Examples might be hide-and-seek games, having them use their sense of smell to find treats or chasing (non-toxic) bubbles.
Spending time playing with your dog is not only fun and a terrific stress-reliever for both of you, but it also strengthens the human-pet bond. Give your pet healthy exercise that every dog needs and your furry friend will be happier, too.
There are many emotional benefits to owning a dog, such as companionship and unconditional love, but a pet can also positively affect his or her owners’ physical health, too. Consider these five simple ways pet owners can take the best care of their dogs.
5 Ways to Help Keep Your Dog Happy and Healthy
(Family Features) There are many emotional benefits to owning a dog, such as companionship and unconditional love, but a pet can also positively affect his or her owners’ physical health, too.
According to studies from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, spending quality time with a dog can help ease stress and anxiety for the owner and can even lower blood pressure and cholesterol levels. To be able to reap the health benefits of dog ownership, it’s key to ensure you’re taking proper care of your dog with quality nutrition and plenty of exercise.
Veterinarian Dr. Jeff Werber offers these five simple ways pet owners can take the best care of their dogs, because when dogs are happy and healthy, their owners can be, too. To learn more about how dogs’ health is linked to their owners’, and for more tips for feeding your pet, visit IAMS.com.
Photos courtesy of Adobe StockSOURCE:
Introducing a new dog to the family can bring plenty of excitement, sweet snuggles and puppy kisses. However, there are also plenty of practical steps to consider to successfully transition a pup into its new environment. Whether you’re a seasoned pet owner or a first-time puppy parent, these tips can help your newest family member feel right at home.
5 Tips for New Pet Parents
(Family Features) Introducing a new dog to the family can bring plenty of excitement, sweet snuggles and puppy kisses. However, there are also plenty of practical steps to consider to successfully transition a pup into its new environment.
Whether you’re a seasoned pet owner or a first-time puppy parent, these tips can help your newest family member feel right at home:
Purchase the necessities ahead of time. Similar to newborns, new pets require products that fit their size, age and life stage to ensure their safety and good health. This includes chew-proof food and water bowls, an ID tag with name and contact information and a sturdy leash for both walks and training. Many experts discourage retractable leashes because they offer little control. For puppies specifically, some veterinarians recommend harnesses to attach a leash to because their necks are too fragile to attach a leash to a collar. Remember, puppies are going to grow, and items like beds, crates and collars will need to grow as they do, so you may want to hold off on investing in pricier options until they’ve matured.
Offer high-quality food that provides balanced nutrition. Feed new pets the best quality food possible because an investment in your pet’s food is an investment in its health and longevity.
“Quality is a top priority when new pet parents are selecting food, so reading ingredient labels and understanding what nutrients are important for your pet at his or her life stage is key,” said Dr. Jennifer Adolphe, Ph.D., R.D., nutrition manager at Petcurean. “Better quality food will usually equate to fewer vet visits overall. The same goes for treats.”
An option like Petcurean's Now Fresh wet food features novel textures like shredded, stews and pates and is made with 100 percent fresh meats and bone broth gravy, which adds a meaty flavor. All recipes are 100 percent grain- and gluten-free and non-GMO, making for a perfect treat, topper or complete and balanced meal.
Have enough playthings around the house. Keep dogs from destroying furniture, shoes and household items by providing them with fun, safe and entertaining toys. Chew toys and puzzles that combine play and treats are interactive, which can give dogs mental stimulation and help keep them out of mischief.
Pet-proof the house. Dogs are naturally curious and spend time exploring their homes, especially pets eager to get to know their new environment. Items on counters and shelves that could be dangerous to a small child are also dangerous for dogs, including wires, sharp or small objects and fragile items. Store them up and away from your dog or in locked cabinets for safekeeping.
Provide a safe spot to retreat. Moving in to a new home can cause a pet to feel a little disoriented and overwhelmed. Providing a safe place for the dog to retreat from enthusiastic kids, other pets and general household commotion can help the pup feel calmer. A crate or kennel lined with a soft pad or blanket in a quiet area of your home is typically a good choice – it’s a confined space and can also serve a dual-purpose with housetraining, if needed.
Find more tips for proper pet care at petcurean.com.SOURCE:
In many of homes, pets are a big part of the family. However, there are several barriers that can prevent people from spending time with their furry friends, including outdated housing rules and limited green space in communities. In celebration of cities that have become more pet-friendly, consider these ways pets can make people and communities happier and healthier.
5 Ways Pets Make Life Happier and Healthier
(Family Features) More than 84 million U.S. homes have a pet, according to the National Pet Owners Survey, and in many of those homes, pets are a big part of the family. However, there are several barriers that can prevent people from spending time with their furry friends, including outdated housing rules and limited green space in communities.
To help create a more pet-friendly world, Mars Petcare introduced the “BETTER CITY FOR PETS” certification, as an extension of its BETTER CITIES FOR PETS program. The certification celebrates cities that have made progress toward becoming more pet-friendly by evaluating them across four categories: shelters, homes, parks and businesses.
“The presence of pets can help make people healthier – both physically and mentally,” said Mark Johnson, president of Mars Petcare North America. “We hope to inspire more cities to take real action that leads to a better quality of life for people and pets in their communities.”
Consider these benefits of pets, along with research from the Waltham Centre for Pet Nutrition that shows a number of ways pets make people and communities happier and healthier, and visit BetterCitiesForPets.com to learn more and to find out how to help make your city more pet-friendly.
Photos courtesy of FotoliaSOURCE:
Summer may be the perfect time for family trips and outdoor activities, but it’s also a great time to reset and make sure you’re keeping the whole family healthy, including your feline friend. Help your cat stay active, healthy and safe during the summer months by following these tips.
4 Feline Summer Health and Safety Tips
(Family Features) Summer may be the perfect time for family trips and outdoor activities, but it’s also a great time to reset and make sure you’re keeping the whole family healthy, including your feline friend.
To live their best lives, cats need to feel healthy from the inside out, and much of that stems from what they eat. Help your cat stay active, healthy and safe during the summer months by following these tips from the experts at the IAMS™ brand.
1. Focus on Food – Cats are natural carnivores and need the proper amount of protein in their diets. One way to get that is with IAMS High Protein cat food, which is formulated with 84 percent of protein sourced from chicken and salmon. The high concentration of high-quality chicken and salmon helps cats maintain strong muscles and keeps them active.
Other key elements to look for in a high-quality dry cat food include:
Photo courtesy of Fotolia
2. Prioritize Playtime – Though they tend to sleep a lot, especially in the heat, cats also require exercise. Playing a cat-and-mouse game with toys that encourage aerobic activity is one way to give your cat necessary exercise and create a fun bonding experience.
3. Keep Hydrated – Cats need help to stay hydrated, especially in warmer weather. Make sure their water dish is always full and consider placing a few additional water dishes throughout the house. Whatever rooms your cat is drawn to or wherever the family spends quality time, have water readily available so your pet can easily quench his or her thirst and avoid dehydration. You can also incorporate wet cat food to their routine for added moisture in their diet.
4. Create a Cool Space – When the weather is warm, your cat will likely seek out cool places in and around the house to lounge. Make sure he or she has plenty of shady places to lay and that those spots are free of clutter or obstacles. Cats are curious by nature, so tuck cables and cords away, limit the amount of free-standing, sharp or glass objects and keep anything with hazardous chemicals, such as cleaning supplies, locked away to help reduce the possibility of illness or injury.
For more information on establishing healthy habits for your feline friend, visit IAMS.com.SOURCE:
It’s always a good time to pay attention to your family’s health and happiness, and that includes your feline friends, too. Regular exercise and wholesome nutritional choices can help ensure your cat is happy and healthy all year long. These five tips can help keep your cat purring for years to come.
5 Health Tips for Your Feline Friend
(Family Features) It’s always a good time to pay attention to your family’s health and happiness, and that includes your feline friends, too. Regular exercise and wholesome nutritional choices can help ensure your cat is happy and healthy all year long.
These five tips can help keep your cat purring for years to come. For more information on keeping your cat happy and healthy, visit IAMS.com.
1. Create a Space for Your Cat – As most cat owners know, cats have energy they need to exert throughout the day. Create a space specifically for your cat that includes a cat tree and toys, which allows them to climb around, expel extra energy or use this space to do what cats do best, take a catnap.
2. Provide Healthy and Tasty Meals – Nutrition is a major player in the overall health and happiness of cats. They are natural carnivores and need the proper amount of protein in their diets. Providing your cat a diet with high-quality, animal-sourced protein, such as IAMS™ High Protein cat food, can help them maintain healthy vitality and fuel their carnivorous spirit.
3. Find the Perfect Toys – Cats are curious creatures and love being on the prowl. Make sure you have a variety of toys on-hand for your cat to play with, including laser pointers, stuffed mice and feather wands. These items will not only keep them busy, but they offer a great form of exercise to keep them active.
4. Give Them Some Love – Spending quality time with your furry friend can be as easy as allowing them to curl up with you on the couch at the end of a long day. Show some love by treating them to a nightly brushing, which can help maintain coat health and shininess.
5. Visit the Vet – One of the easiest, and often overlooked, tips for maintaining your feline friend’s health is taking them to the veterinarian at least once a year rather than simply waiting for signs of illness. Scheduling yearly checkups can help identify any problems that may go unnoticed.
Photos courtesy of FotoliaSOURCE:
Family time is the best time for many people, and it’s often with loved ones that some of the fondest shared memories are made. Get everyone together, including your pets, for shared experiences such as outdoor activities, mealtime and game nights, for plenty of fun.
4 Ways to Create a Shared Life for the Whole Family
(Family Features) Family time is the best time for many people, and it’s often with loved ones that some of the fondest shared memories are made. Get everyone together (including your pets) for shared experiences such as outdoor activities, mealtime and game nights, for plenty of fun.
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