January is National Walk Your Pet Month!

January is National Walk Your Pet Month!
Mammals need movement, so why not take daily walks with your dog or cat?
In pets, a lack of physical activity manifests as behavioral problems like excessive barking/meowing and eating, destroying household items, aggression, anxiety, and territorial behavior. This is not very far off for humans either (you laugh, but it’s true!).
Walk your pet daily to also prevent:
  • Obesity
  • Diabetes
  • Weak muscles and immunity
  • Joint pain

…in both you and your pet.

Make sure your pet’s joints are in tip-top shape with a good joint supplement as they spend more time struttin’ their stuff. If your pet has pain that might prevent them from getting enough exercise, a CBD oil for dogs and cats targets inflammation and pain and could be a great help.

Prana Pets Blog National Walk Your Pet Month

Walk the Dog

When walking your dog, take anywhere from a 15-minute to a 2-hour walk, depending on how long your pup can go based on their health and breed. The more walks the better, but be sure to read the situation to make sure your dog is up for it!

Read the Room

If it’s too hot, your pet’s paws may burn when walking on concrete. Go for shady areas or at the most ideal time temperature-wise.
When walking your pet, it’s crucial to be in tune with them, in the present moment, and enjoying the walk yourself!

On the Catwalk

If you have a cat that seems curious about the outside world, they might be ready to start the process. Walking cats is a little (a lot!) different, so it’s important to know everything there is to know about it before taking the plunge.
Here are some gradual steps for introducing your cat to the great outdoors:

  1. Give your cat a collar with an ID tag that has your phone number. Make sure they are microchipped as well.
  2. Do clicker training to get them used to wearing the harness only first. Let your cat walk around the home with the harness on so they become accustomed to moving in it. (Be patient with your kitty and provide healthy treats!) 
  3. Once your kitty gets used to the harness, attach the leash to it. Let your kitty lead around your home.
  4. Once your feline is okay with these mini walks indoors, see if a short walk outside resonates with them. Let your cat lead. Only tug very gently on the leash if they go somewhere they shouldn’t.
  5. Have a backpack on in case your cat gets scared and you need to grab them and keep them somewhere safe.
  6. Don’t let your cat just run out the door when it’s time for a walk! They must be trained to wait for the harness and leash for this practice to work safely and consistently.

Prana Pets Blog National Walk Your Pet Month Cat on Leash

Not every cat has the disposition for outside walks, so only do what they are ready for. An alternative to walking your cat could be 15 minutes of daily indoor playtime using toys, intriguing (safe!) household items, and food puzzles/games.