Studies show that incorporating your pet into your New Year's resolution to exercise more is a surefire way to make your fitness goals stick and keep your furball healthy and happy.
Whether you have a dog or a cat, there are plenty of creative ways to spend quality time together and keep each other accountable at the same time (it’s not all about snuggling!). This kind of love and support is exactly what fur-ever friends are for.
Get Moving with Your Dog
Dogs sure love to run and explore the great outdoors before they “go to the bathroom,” but what about those times you both just need good old-fashioned exercise? It’s important to make the time for movement and mental clarity not only for yourself but also for your pup.
If a brisk walk turns into a full-on run, your pooch will be eternally grateful. Just make sure their joints are up for it with a good hip and joint supplement that staves off inflammation in the whole body so your doggy can enjoy a full range of motion when they need it most.
Cats Need Exercise, Too!
Did you know that cats love walks too? Yes! You read that right! They’ll need a harness and a leash, and some gradual building up to the process using clicker training.
Only do what your pet is ready for and wants to do, but definitely start looking into the process if you haven’t already. Cats are just as enriched and energized as we are when we go outdoors. Just follow them and see where they take you—with the proper precautions, of course!
Food is A Master Motivator
If your cat can’t get outside or your dog isn’t the best runner, set up cones or objects in a line and vigorously zig-zag through them with your dog or cat, using a treat as their guide. You can even add in an obstacle they can jump over and then do a lateral hurdle jump on the obstacle yourself.
Humans and pets alike benefit from working for their food. Dogs and cats eat less and think and move more with puzzles and toys that make them figure something out in order to get a healthy treat or piece of food. Humans can likewise use healthy food as a reward for themselves after a good workout with their beloved pet.
Think Outside of the Box
As any pet owner knows, the second you start doing something exercise-related in the house, cats and dogs want to be in on all the fun. When pets show interest naturally, it’s a great opportunity to get them moving too.
While you’re doing calisthenics at home, take out a treat intermittently and make your pet follow you around the house in order to get it. Be sure they are healthy treats with no fillers, though! We are trying to get fit, not build a dependency on junk!
Your furry family member LOVES just being with you AND they were built for high levels of activity (just like humans, by the way!). Making your fur babe a part of your new healthy lifestyle in any way is a win-win!