Petside Items: Exercise your pet from Guest Blogger Jo SingerPublished June 4, 2008
The human species is not alone in fighting the battle of the bulge. While some of us are fitness conscious, there are those of us who lead somewhat sedentary lifestyles resulting in unwanted pounds. It’s no wonder that our dogs and cats can become pudgy. I have exciting news for dog owners, and a few suggestions for feline fanatics to help both owner and pet in their quest for improved physical condition. Where else but in Beverly Hills, California could such a novel idea come to fruition? Jamie and Jill Bowers, dog obedience experts and owners of Thank Dog! started a fitness program called Thank Dog! Boot camp, the first one designed to trim both overweight dogs and their owners. Together with fitness guru Torri Shack, they designed a series of classes taught by a certified personal trainer working side by side with a Thank Dog! Trainer. A thorough evaluation of the dog’s level of training and suitability for the class, and the owner’s weight loss goals begin the process. Boot Camp Classes last 60 minutes focusing on cardiovascular training, obedience and strength training for both owner and dog. Provided also is a Free 30 minute basic obedience training which facilitates human and canine communication. Check out their website for more information. It would be difficult indeed to offer a boot camp for cats. They simply do not respond to commands as easily as their canine companions do. Too many overweight felines, who are at high risk for heart disease, Diabetes, arthritis and other debilitating conditions, exist. While some folks think that fat cats are funny and upload tons of videos to You Tube showing off their pudgy pussycats, I personally am appalled. When I observe my cats hanging out on the couch watching "Animal Planet" too frequently, I get worried and I get busy. Before you begin an exercise routine with your cat, a vet check is in order to insure that your cat's health is sufficiently robust to indulge in strenuous exercise. Once you get the "go ahead", there is an abundance of interactive toys available on the market that delight cats. Feathery toys attached poles mimicking birds, are quite enticing. You get a workout inviting your cat to leap into the air to retrieve the feathers. Even the most economical of toys, a rolled up ball of paper attached to a string, dragging it behind you while you walk around your house will give your cat the opportunity to hunt and stalk while you get to work off your dinner. Some cats are quite intrigued with agility training and are quite responsive. Both you and your cat can enjoy this activity together. Keeping our pets happy and in good physical condition can lengthen their lives substantially. We can reap the rewards ourselves as we participate in a fitness program with them. In what kinds of exercise do you and your pet participate together? Give us some other ideas by leaving a comment.
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