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  • Writer's pictureMarybeth Haines

Pets Motivating People In The New Year

It’s a new year and folks are looking to exercise and eat right. We most often are looking at our needs and what types of changes of resolutions we can make for ourselves. Why not look at the needs of your pet?

Looking for ways to exercise?

Having a pet is a great way to get exercise! Daily routines are important for both people and pets. Lately here in Ontario, we have been having extremely cold and frigid temperatures nearing -29 degrees below zero.

Of course, these are times when our pets should not be out for long periods. However when the weather is colder however not frigidly cold, how many times have we peeked out into the colder weather to allow our dog to sniff and explore only to take them back inside right away instead of taking them on a longer walk?

The simple act of walking around the block a few times or going on a hike not only benefits the format of exercise….it also brings together a closer bond with your furry loved one.

Medical Conditions:

Does your pet have arthritis or a medial condition where it’s harder to go for a longer walk? Pets with arthritis can benefit from hydrotherapy and you can ask your vet for their advice on this topic. Your veterinarian can assist you with different ways you can support your pet in getting benefit from movement and exercise.

Looking for fun ways to exercise with your pet? Check these out:

  • Play games with your pet as you do a sit ups. Pretend to throw your dog’s toy as you sit up, then do as many sit ups as you can until your dog figures out you still have their toy.

  • Do squats and as you come up, entice your dog to jump up and catch their toy.

  • Do you have a cat? I’ve heard of cat curls where you tie a bouncy toy around a dumbbell and as you curl up, your cat can jump up to try to get the toy.

Bottom line, inside or outside is fair game for exercise with you and your pet.

Having a pet helps us stay in a routine. Your pet knows when it’s time for you to wake up and/or take them outside. When we have a sense of routine, we feel better. Kids know all about routine. Why not have your kids get into the action with a flashlight. They can shine the flashlight on different spots and watch your pet try to catch the light. Meeting up with another friend with children and pets is also a great way to interact and stay active. Put on some music and dance with your pet!

A friend of mine brings his dog with him on his deliveries. He partners together the form of exercising with his dog and delivers things at the same time. Many a dog has loved to run alongside their owner who is rollerblading. Active animals are happy. Service dogs are always on the go until they are off the job and resting with their human. If you don’t live on a farm and live in the city there are lots of ways to keep yourself and your pet happy through exercise.

Photo courtesy of Grant Cochrane:

Don’t have a pet? Looking for ways to exercise with a furry friend?

If you don’t have a pet, there are pets in great need of exercise at shelters. The thing about being active is that you are interacting with a pet and getting so much more in return. There is nothing like petting an animal after a walk. Seeing an animal run and fetch a ball for hours until they are tired is a great sight because you can see the animal’s joy as they exist in the moment.

So, if you are looking for motivation in the New Year, start with your pet and have some fun!

Love and hugs,


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