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What? Me? Work up a sweat? You have got to be kidding!

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Jessie, the perfectly fit dog:  I am sure you all have heard that exercise is great for people.  They also say it is good for pets.  I get enough exercise around here by jumping to conclusions and evading the issues.  Why must I do anything further? I have seen many humans out on the streets running with their dogs.  What is up with that?  What are they running from?  Or, better yet…what are they chasing?  Why on earth do people run if they are not chasing a car or running from a bigger human?

Bo, the cerebral cat:  If you must know, my dear canine friend.  Exercise is important for both humans and animals.  It keeps our hearts in shape, our bodies fit, and our minds clear.  If anything, you could use a bit of fitness, if only to keep a bit more sanity about you. I do have a few tips on how to get started working out with your pets.  Actually, I am just waiting for someone to open up a health club strictly for cats and dogs.  It would be PAWS-itiviely awesome, wouldn’t it?  They could have a spa, a salon, a place to dine on French kitty treats, a massage station, a….

Jessie:  FOCUS!  Our readers do not care one bit about your fantasies.  If you are going to educate them, do it now and do it quickly.  They have other blogs to get to!

Bo:  (Clearing his throat)  Fine.  Well, as with anything you do in life, you need to be motivated to do it first.  So, if you want to exercise with your pet, be sure to schedule in the time just like you would any other appointment. (Speaking of which, is my stylist still on speed dial?)  If you have it written down in your calendar, you are less likely to skip that “appointment.”  So, how much time do you need to spare for this indulgence?  Most experts say that thirty-minute sessions about four times each week will suffice for a dog.  Cats can get by on 15 minutes, once each day, provided they are in good health.

With your dog, you can play a game of fetch.  Remember:  YOU throw the ball, and HE fetches it. Not the other way around.  (However, that would be highly entertaining, now that I think about it!) Take your dog on a long walk or even a jog.  Play a game of chase around the back yard.  (That will give the neighbors something to talk about! “Look, Norm, Jack is in his yard again, being chased by the dog!”)  If you have a dog that loves the water, take him for a swim….just not at your local neighborhood pool.  They might frown on that.

Cats like to play fetch with furry mice….fake ones…not real ones!  Put a toy ball on a slick surface and watch the cat go wild.  Catnip toys can also entice your cat to engage in some heart-pumping play.

Just remember to have fun.  And make sure to offer your pet some water when finished.  It is important to keep your pet just as hydrated as yourself!  Before long, both you and your four-legged buddy will be looking fit and trim.  After all, swim suit season is around the corner!

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