Get Fit with your Pets this Spring!

By on April 9, 2014

As spring slowly creeps in, we’re excited to post outdoor event information (click here to see them), trending topics in the pet world and info that will help you enjoy your animals. The weather is warming and parks will soon be full of pets and pet owners. Knowing that, we’re here to help with these tips on how to get out, enjoy the season and get fit with your animals.

An article from the Huffington Post has listed a number of ways to exercise with your pets. Check out a summary of the article below or click the link above to see the tips in their entirety. A little FYI: The article was apparently written in order to provide tips for “playing inside” as preparation for spring, but we’ve translated into a more fun language you and your pets will enjoy. Also, to be frank, some of the tips were just plain silly, so we’ve tried to spice them up a bit. Now’s a great time to get filled in and put these ideas to work!

  • High and Low- a game you can do indoors if it’s raining or a bit chilly or too hot: Grab some kibble or a few treats. Have your pup sit or lie down on the floor next to you. When you “squat,” bend your knees and drop your backside until your thighs are parallel to the ground, open your hand sporadically to reveal the prize for pooch. Not much work for your dog, but squats are a really great total-body exercise.
  • Hide and Seek- here’s one that gives your pet more of a workout: Locate a favorite toy, lead your pet to another room and send your little friend off to find the toy. Simple, but if your pet loves that toy enough, he or she won’t stop frantically looking until it’s found.
  • Find the Food- This one is especially good for kitties…The article says, and is correct in saying, that cats are natural predators. If you want kitty to work a bit for his or her chow, hide little bowls all over your house with a bite or two in each. Your little kitten will have to find them, or “hunt” them, if he or she wants to eat. Again, not much push for you, but we suppose you’ll have to climb some stairs or something…
  • Follow the Leader- Alright, here’s one that you can take outdoors into the fresh air. Your dog loves tennis balls and racquet balls and beach balls and every other kind of toy ball. Show your pooch that you have said favorite ball and have him or her chase you- or follow you- at whatever speed you’d like. After a while, you’ll look silly just holding a ball and running around, so toss it once in a while for some good ol’ fetch.
  • Obstacle Course- OK…this is where we’ll insert a little editorial change…The article suggests that you set up boxes and other things around the house or yard and have your pet rummage through them for exercise. That’s not much fun for us, is it? Picking up and putting down things for pets to jump around? How about this: Next time you see an event that shows agility dogs, find out if you can use the course or if there is a kind of “let your pet run the bases” type thing going on. If not, take your pet to the jungle gym. Heck, just get outside and maneuver your way through some woods or something. This inside playing thing is for winter…
  • Remote Controlled Toys- This sounds fun for both pet and owner, but how about the original remote controlled toy- the Frisbee? Your arm is the remote, the Frisbee is the toy. Chasing the Frisbee around will be fun for your dog and you’ll get a workout by traversing the park after misguided throws that end up in the tree or creek. Yeah. Frisbees never get old.
  • Fetch. Got it? Good. Play games that are centered on the idea of throwing something and having your pet going to get it.
  • Hill climber- Now here’s one that will surely get your blood pumping. Grab a leash, hook your pet up and find a nice trail to walk or hilly area to climb and descend. Walking is about as good as it gets for pet-spending time, so why not just get out and enjoy the outdoors with your pet while getting some exercise? Omaha has some really great trails and parks, so you’ll not be at a loss for venues to explore.
  • Swimming- It may be a little chilly in the spring to swim, but as the weather and water gets warmer, this is a great way to enjoy play and exercise with your pets. Dogs love swimming, some cats actually like water and who doesn’t like to swim? Swimming is great exercise for you and your pets, so next time you’re hitting the lake or pool, take your water-loving critter with you. Looking for an above ground pool? Here’s an interesting read.

Hopefully if the above tips haven’t gotten you excited for spring weather, you have come up with some inspiration for outdoor activities you can enjoy with your animals. We’ve got about five nice, solid months of “good enough” weather here in Omaha to do just about anything outside, so use your time wisely. Get out, enjoy nature and get moving with your pets!

What’s your favorite outdoor activity with your pets? Let us know on Facebook at Pets In Omaha, on Twitter @PetsInOmaha or by using our contact form. We’d love to hear what you do to get moving with your pets.

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