Hey all! I can’t believe that it’s almost the end of the week ALREADY… how do the weeks (especially on vacation) always go so fast?! I must say that I will never get sick of this view:
Before I went on vacation, I had the chance to chat with Dr. Kurt Venator from Purina about how to keep your pets healthy and safe in the summer months. I hope to one day have a dog, but until then, I will have to live vicariously through all of you 🙂 but I did learn some really good tips on summer running with your dog — as well as some other interesting tidbits about your other pets!
I did get some advice on cats –> I had no idea that it is BAD to keep all of your toys out for them all the time. Bad in the sense that they get bored, and you are better off just bringing out one toy a day so that they can unleash their predatory instinct. As soon as I get home, that’s something that I’ll be trying!
And, I learned that you need to spend 30 minutes of PLAY time with your pets. I do not do this with my cats, and I’m a little worried that Jax (aka Big Fats… he’s just a big cat because he’s Maine Coon!) is getting a little TOO big.
So, I’m adding that to my list of goals this summer… to get him working and active once again. He does get a lot of activity when I brush him… mostly because he’s trying to run away from me.
Anyways! On to what you’re interested in: summer running with your dog. Dr. Venator had some really good tips to consider for those of you who are planning to run with your four-legged friends this summer:
—> Just like humans, dogs need lean muscle mass. Did you know that about 54% of dogs are overweight? Just like us, dogs need lean muscle mass for optimal health. Running with your dog is a great way to get there… and just general exercise!
—> If you are exercising during the summer months, make sure you are paying attention to your dog. Dr. Venator made a good point — your pet will tell you when they need a break. Excessive panting and moving slower are two key signs. If you notice this, take a break in the shade. And on top of that, make sure you have access to clean and fresh water for your dog when you are outside moving around (one of the 30 billion reasons why I love running Town Lake… all of their water fountains have a spot on the bottom for your dog).
—> Remember that your pet is wearing a fur coat. I never thought of it this way! And it’s a good thing to remember. 80* feels really hot to us, but imagine if you were wearing your hottest winter jacket as you were exercising in the dead heat of summer. Sounds pretty terrible, right? Remember that.
—> Don’t over do it. Just like us, dogs need to build up their fitness. It can be tempting to take them for a long run just because you are in the physical shape to do so. Work up for them — it will give them a chance to adjust to running on a leash too.
—> Find what motivates your dog. Not all dogs are interested in running with you, sadly (I know, haters). Some may be more interested in catching a frisbee or just going for a short walk with you. Figure out what keeps them excited and interested in activity (again, just like us!) and build on that.
If you want to see whether your pet falls in the obese range, Purina has put together a body condition chart that is really helpful in letting you know whether they are. Check it out HERE and start moving with your pet!
Please note that Purina invited me to join the Google Hangout with Dr. Kurt Venator in exchange for a post about what I learned. All thoughts in this post are my own.
Do you run with your dog? Any tips?
How many pets do you have, and what are they? Do you have any on your “wish list”?
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