Although winter is fast approaching, there’s no excuse to hole up indoors with your pet until spring returns. Our balmy Conroe weather means you can hit the trails, parks, or the pavement with your canine companion, or venture outdoors with your leashed feline. And, since more than 50% of U.S. pets are overweight or obese, start your New Year’s resolution now—commit to being more active with your furry pal. With a four-legged friend, you have a built-in exercise buddy who is sick of sitting on the couch and binge-watching the latest Netflix series. Lace up your running shoes and test out the following ways to be active with your pet.
#1: Take the path less traveled with your pet
Are you and your hiking pal literally stuck in a rut? If you’ve traveled the same route so many times that you’ve worn a trail in the pavement, seek new adventures and take the path less traveled. Great options for exploring novel areas include:
- Dog parks or doggy daycare play groups
- Pet-friendly bars, restaurants, and cafes
- Local parks
- Hiking trails
- Pet-friendly beaches or water bodies
Put some spring into your step by taking your pet on brand new adventures and discovering unique places. You may meet new friends who will hold you and your pet accountable for daily hikes or jogs to help boost your fitness.
#2: Design your own agility course for your pet
Nothing gets your blood pumping more than a series of jumps and obstacles, and you can whiz through the agility course with your furry pal. Whether you attend agility competitions or create your own indoor course, you and your pet can experience a great cardiac boost. Your cat can also join in the leaping and weaving fun, so long as you provide worthy rewards. To teach your pet to handle an agility course, lure them under, over, and through the obstacles with a tasty treat or intriguing toy. Once your four-legged friend has the gist of an agility course, work on shaving seconds off your time, and engage in a family competition.
#3: Hide your pet’s meals around your home
Is your pet a pro at solving every food puzzle you devise or purchase? If your furry pal is too smart for their own good, change up meal times by creating a search-and-find snack session. Hide kibble pieces around your home to encourage your pet to sniff out their meal, burning off calories as they roam around. If your pet eats only canned food, swap out hidden kibble for small, smelly treats that are easy to sniff out, but be careful not to add too many additional calories. Your pet’s daily treats should comprise only 10% of their daily caloric intake.
#4: Sign your pet up for a new class
Taking a new class together is a great way to bond with your pet, while also sneaking in some calorie-burning activity. Although not many classes are available for cats, you can customize some canine options to fit your feline friend’s interests. Interesting new class, club, or group ideas for your pet include:
- Dock diving
- Agility trials
- Rally or obedience competitions
- Barn hunt
- Lure coursing
- Advanced obedience training classes
- Clicker training course
- Schutzhund training
With such a wide variety of choices, you’re sure to find one or two classes that will pique your pet’s interest.
#5: Call in the professionals to help exercise your pet
Sometimes, though, you may wish your pooch could burn off some steam while you go to work, run errands, or chill on the couch. Hey, we get it. It’s a great feeling to come home and not have to worry about taking your teenage Labrador for an hour-long walk, plus an intense fetch session to release that puppy energy. There are many great resources available to help you exercise your pet when you are overwhelmed with work, errands, or life in general. Hire your pet-loving neighborhood kid who plans on becoming a veterinarian to walk your pup or play with your cat, or look into pet care services, like Rover. Or, you can rope a friend into swapping pet-exercising duties and trade off each day to ensure your furry pals are appropriately exercised. By teaming up with a professional dog walker, or joining forces with a friend, your four-legged companion will maintain a healthy weight and good cardiovascular health, all while participating in invigorating mental and physical stimulation.
For more information about our training classes, or other opportunities to engage in fun activities with your dog, contact our Stone Ridge Pet Resort team.