(philstar.com) | Updated April 24, 2014 – 11:22am
MANILA, Philippines – Giving your pets the right food may not be enough, as they also need proper exercise. Most pets are not familiar with exercise, especially when owners have limited time to exercise with their pets. This can result to various health problems for pets.
Pets should exercise regularly to have a healthy heart, ideal body weight, toned shape, strong muscles, and alert and active minds.
These activities will help in getting pets the right exercise, and enable owners to bond with them as well:
Walks are always good for both pets and their pet owners. Mix it up by doing interval walks which will boost your pet’s metabolism. Instead of taking one walk a day, try taking multiple short walks or longer strolls during the day. You can also try walking your pet through different surfaces like sand, grass, or shallow water.
Hide and Seek
Let your pet search for their favorite toys or kibbles by hiding them in places around the house or your backyard. Be creative in thinking up hiding places, increasing the level of difficulty as your pet becomes better in finding the hidden treat. A game of hide and seek can develop your pets’ problem-solving skills, their sense of smell and their natural hunting ability.
Find various objects such as balls, chairs, broomsticks or cardboard boxes and lay them out into a makeshift obstacle course in your yard or garden. Lead your dog into the course, make him follow you and let him jump over the obstacles. You can also do this for your cat by setting up posts or towers where your cat can jump on from perch to perch. Doing several runs and varying the course will surely stimulate your pet both mentally and physically.
Activities and games such as fetch, tug-of-war and light chases can stimulate your pet’s fitness. Throwing a ball as you play fetch with your dog is good cardiovascular exercise. Cats love to jump and climb, so find vertical spaces for them around your house or get them a cat tower so they can get limber. Pet owners can use a flashlight or laser pointer as another simple yet effective exercise for your feline friend where it tries to catch the light by jumping and reaching for it. The classic tug-of-war game with your pet is also good fitness activity to enhance your pet’s muscle resistance, as long as the pet also is trained to release an item on command.
Tricks and toys
Teaching a new trick to your pet will enable it to learn new skills and sharpen its mind. Tricks will also train your pet to have improved concentration and obedience, and may result in improved agility flexibility, and balance. Your furry friend will learn new things and will also build a better bond with you as you teach them. Toys encourage your pets to get moving. Toss Frisbees and balls for your dog to catch. Let your furry friends play with their favorite chew toys, make homemade ones or even use recycled items around the house such as paper, boxes, ribbon, yarn, cardboard boxes and paper bags. Be careful in picking your toys – make sure that they do not pose chemical or choking hazards to your pet and that your pet doesn’t eat them.
Access to fresh and clean water is important so your pets can rehydrate when they get tired and thirsty.
Also see to it that your pet is well rewarded after their activities. Give them some treats to encourage them to do your exercise routines daily, but always treat in moderation. Remember that an active pet lifestyle coupled with a complete balanced diet will make a happy and healthy pet.
Commercial pet food, along with veterinary care, helps pets to live longer, healthier lives. Commercial pet food makers from the United States conduct extensive research and undertake safety procedures to develop pet food, ensuring that they fulfill the special nutritional needs of dogs and cats.
As the voice of the United States pet food industry, PFI and partner organization Veterinary Practitioners Association of the Philippines (VPAP) is committed to promoting and encouraging the Filipino pet owners to provide proper nourishment and care to their pets, striving to make them Well-fed, Well-
nourished cats and dogs. The campaign is geared towards extending knowledge on proper pet nutrition throughout the year with educational initiatives such as interactive lectures for pet owners and informational materials.