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Winter Fitness

Winter Fitness
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With the winter just outside our door we often feel like staying at home, and for some of us, with the current virus, we have to.

Our wise cats have a tendency to remain indoors too, normally claiming the warmest spot in the house as their own. But our pets still need to keep active over winter, otherwise they can have a tendency to become bored meaning naughtiness and put on a little weight.

Here’s a few tips to help keep them fit and stimulated over these winter months.

Cats

  • Hide food – A cat’s metabolism works best when they eat little and often.  Hiding small portions in a bowl around the house makes them hunt for their food. 
  • Hide & Seek – With a favourite toy.  Start easy, show them at first, but you’ll be amazed as how quick they learn and understand the game. Something smelly like catnip often gets them excited.
  • Play with their favourite toy - Make them pounce and bounce, something with feathers normally appeals to them.
  • Find vertical space - A cat tree is always great as they like to climb, and they love to be high so they can cast an eye over us.  The material indoor trees are made from also encourages them to scratch, keeping their claws away from your furniture.
  • Try teaching tricks – They can learn just like your dog.  But no longer than fifteen minutes and make sure you have treats ready to give within 2 seconds or they won’t associate the treat with the command.
  • Cat laser pointers and blowing bubbles can get the most sedate cats moving.

Dogs

  • Walk – Is the best exercise especially when the skies are blue and its crunchy underfoot.  Just remember though, short haired dogs would probably prefer a coat in this low temperature.
  • Feeding Toys - Food goes in and it takes the dog a while to either knock it out of the feeder or work out the puzzle.  These provide great mental stimulation.
  • Hide and Seek - As with cats, start off easy and they’ll soon get the picture.
  • New Tricks - Always good fun for us and stimulating for the dog, it also strengthens your bond.  As with cats though, no longer than fifteen minutes at a time, and reward quickly.
  • Outdoor Activity – Find something that’s new and draws you out of the house. Agility and fly ball are very popular and provides you both with exercise.
  • As with cats, dogs love to chase bubbles.
  • Indoor Fetch – If your house is suitable, using commands such as sit, drop will mentally stimulate them.
  • Doggy Day Care – Is a great way to get your dog socialising with others and they will come home exhausted.
  • Indoor Obstacle Course – Especially if you have children, it can keep them all occupied!

Most importantly, have fun and is you have any questions please do contact your local branch and speak to one of our lovely Registered Veterinary Nurses.