We all know the basic needs of our pets such as clean water, food, medical care and of course lots of love, but there are other needs that our pets have that you may be overlooking. To give your pet the fullest and happiest life, they need exercise of both the body and mind. Here are a few things you can do to keep your pets healthy and happy.
1. Get them moving
Exercise is such an important part of keeping your pets healthy. Healthy adult dogs need at least 30 minutes of exercise twice a day. This can include things such as walking, jogging, swimming or even playing in your local dog park. In addition, cats also need exercise. Don’t let their laid back disposition fool you, they still need to have active sessions each day. Consider playing chase with them or using something like a laser pointer to get them running and playing.
2. Keep them occupied
Making your pets focus on certain tasks will help their mental health. Not only do games such as tug or fetch help dogs physically, but they also help teach them impulse control. When you leave your pet alone, make sure they have mental stimulation that will keep them entertained while you are away. Consider giving your pet a food-stuffed puzzle toy such as a Kong. Provide them with places where they can stay entertained as well. Cats love to perch in a window and watch birds outside.
3. Teach them tricks
It is never too late to teach your dog or cat a new trick. With these tricks you are helping keep them focused and mentally stimulated. We all know that dogs can learn basic commands such as sit, stay and come, but cats can also be trained to do many things including sitting, coming when called and more.
Remember, you are responsible for your pet’s mental and physical health. By offering them enriching activities you are not just enhancing and strengthening your bond with your pet but you are ensuring they are staying as healthy as possible.
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Do you have a question for Brian? E-mail him at AskBrian@hsdayton.org. Brian Weltge is the president and CEO of the Humane Society of Greater Dayton. For more information, call (937) 268-PETS (7387) or visit www.hsdayton.org.