Spring Into Action
Most of us are glad to hibernate indoors during winter – a good book, a hot chocolate and a few cakes to keep us cosy and comfortable and, of course, our dog right there by our side!
Then along comes spring. We have to face the great outdoors again, shedding those extra winter layers and kilos! Many pet owners decide to get out and about more, walking or perhaps taking up a new activity with our four-legged friends.
A New Hobby
Many people enjoy taking up a new hobby at this time of year. Why not think about hobbies that will benefit both you and your dog. Some suggestions for new springtime pursuits include:
- Training classes – either formal obedience lessons for the perfectly behaved pooch or simple training exercises at home.
- Teaching your dog a new trick: to shake paws or to give you a ‘high five’. By rewarding them with a treat, a pat or a word of praise each time they lift a paw, they will soon learn to shake paws for the reward.
- Visit a pet show. Even if your pet is not show quality, and remember there are shows nowadays for non-pedigree pets, it can be fun to go and watch other pet owners taking part.
- If you have a well-behaved and sociable dog you might like to join a hospital visiting program. You and your dog, after being assessed as a suitable visiting team, can visit hospitals and nursing homes, giving people ( who might otherwise not have contact with a pet) a chance to meet and greet your pet.
- Even if you are not a particularly active person, you can still exercise your energetic dog. Seat yourself outdoors in a lounger in the beautiful spring sunshine and throw your pet’s favourite toy for them to retrieve.
The most important factor in your spring into action is that you and your pet both enjoy your activities together. Not only will this improve your health and vitality but the bond between you will grow stronger.
Take care with these tips…
- Just as we are advised to see our doctors before beginning a new exercise regime, it is often a good idea to get your pet checked over by your vet before any new activity, especially if your pet is older or suffers from any ailments such as arthritis.
- If you are beginning a serious new exercise regime then take it slowly. Walk before you begin jogging. Dogs, like us, can end up with sore muscles.
- Remember when you apply your sunscreen, your pet’s nose and ears may benefit from a generous application of sunscreen too.
- Keep your pet hydrated by offering it plenty of water to drink both before and after exercise.
More information about pets and their people at Dr Jo’s website Pet Problems Solved.