Living an active lifestyle is, as you know, important for heart health, keeping us trim, and able, and young. But, it’s also important for our pets to keep active as well.
I am the first to admit that I have a big, fat cat. My boy is an inside house cat, and therefore he is definitely not as active as he should be by nature. Therefore, I do my best to have exercise time with him. This includes playing hide-and-seek (he loves to pounce on me) and also taking him outside on his leash during the Spring, Summer, and Fall (in Nova Scotia winters the poor guy would disappear in the snow!).
*sigh* Sometimes he strolls, sometimes he sits there and glares at me. #attitude
In addition to my cat, I am also Auntie to a friend’s dog (remember Dora from my last post?). Dora and I have been hiking and walking quite a bit since the Spring and her dog, Layla, now associates me with walk time.
The Three Amigos: Dora, Layla, and me on one of our evening strolls
It’s actually really sweet. Whenever I step onto the threshold of Dora’s house, Layla goes crazy, jumping around, scattering around the house, and jumping as high as she can to give me kisses before we head out.
Dora and I make as many dates as we can through the week to get together to walk Layla. We have a great time, and in addition to Layla getting some workout time in, Dora and I get to improve our fitness as well. Layla also gets walks in the morning before Dora heads to work.
Besides walking the dog, Dora is certain to include Layla in her other fitness adventures. As I mentioned, they go hiking, and swimming, and running on the beach.
Layla and a friend on the beach
There are so many ways to incorporate your pets into your fitness regime. And this doesn’t just go for dogs. If you have a cat, and depending on its personality, you can take your cat hiking, walking, and sometimes even swimming.
My Aunt Donna can attest to this. If you recall, Donna did a guest post for me last year. Donna had her second spinal surgery just a few weeks ago. After her first spinal surgery several years ago when she was living in Vancouver, she got herself a new kitten, Ms. Coco Chanel. Coco was and is very much a therapy cat. When Donna returned home from the hospital post-surgery, to ensure she would get up and out, instead of remaining sedentary, she started taking Coco for walks.
These walks have become a way of life for both Donna and for Coco. Coco loves her strolls and her hikes and they keep both her and Donna active. Even when Donna is having a high-pain day, she turns to Coco to ensure they both get out for their stroll. Coco has climbed trees and hiked trails and strolled beaches.
Coco loves nature and she always stops to smell the
roses Lady Slippers
There are many other things to do with your pets to keep them active: throw balls or a Frisbee, use a laser light or other toy, chase them (Layla loves this!), you can even invest in pet fitness equipment. My boyfriend’s father takes the dogs for at least one swim a day during the summer. And the dogs love him for it.
There are so many ways to keep your pets active and doing so can help improve their health, longevity, agility, and overall life. So, the next time you’re heading out for a hike, why not leash up your buddy and take him with you. Or include him in the family swim.
And, in the meantime, check out PuppySpot. They’re a community of dog lovers who place healthy puppies into happy homes. They were kind enough to provide this awesome infographic for you all.