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Winter Fitness

Winter Fitness
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With winter just outside our door we often feel like staying at home, warm and cosy. I’m not as enthusiastic about walking the dog as I am in the summer months.

I know the darkness plays a huge part in my unwillingness to walk. Our wise cats have a tendency to remain indoors, 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 and put on a little weight. I’m not sure about you but boredom for my pets leads to naughtiness and utter chaos.

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

Cats

  • Hide food – A cats metabolism works best when they eat little and often. So 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. My lady loves feathers.  She’ll bounce and chase until her heart is content.
  • Find vertical space - A cat tree is always great, they like to climb and they love to be high so they can cast an eye over us. The material tree’s are made from also encourages them to scratch, keeping 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.

Dogs

  • Walk – Is the best exercise especially when the skies are blue and its crunchy underfoot.  Just remember though, short coated dogs would probably prefer a coat in this low temperature.
  • Feeding Toys - My boy has several, food goes in and it takes him a while to either knock it out of the feeder or work out the puzzle.  Provides mental stimulation and gets him moving.
  • 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.  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 is very popular and it provides you both with exercise.

Our last tip is - weight, stay attentive to any changes.

Most importantly, have fun!