Getting in Shape with Your Pets

Jack Russel Terrier lifting weights

Let your pet be your fitness coach

New Year’s Resolutions come and go, but this is a great time of year to resolve to let go of that extra baggage – for you AND your best friend.

It’s an unfortunate fact of life that Americans and their pets are too well fed, resulting in overweight and obesity. Carrying too much weight can cause health problems from diabetes to heart problems to bone and joint damage for people and their pets.

Try some of these ideas to burn calories and build strong muscles and bones. Always consider your and your pet’s health and conditioning before beginning any exercise regimen. If you’re not sure that you or your pet is healthy enough to workout, contact your physician or veterinarian.

Too Cold and Icy for a Run?

If you live where winter becomes an impediment to your outdoor exercise schedule and your gym doesn’t allow dogs, consider a brisk walk in the park instead of running along icy roads. When you walk in snow, you’ll be using more energy than on a smooth road, so your walk can turn into a calorie burner for you and your dog.

Turn Training into Indoor Fun and Exercise

Whether your dog needs to learn Stay and Come commands or could use some practice, you can turn training into a game while you both get some exercise.

If you have carpeted stairs you and your dog (or cat) can get some extra aerobic exercise. Just ask your dog to Stay while you race up the stairs (or down the hall, or across the yard) then call her to Come. Praise her lavishly while you reward her with a treat and repeat until you’re both breathing hard.

When your pet gets good at Stay, you can turn it into a game of Hide and Seek by using the Stay command or distracting him with a few treats while you hide then give the Come command or whistle to get him searching for you. If you have helpers at home, they can hold or distract your cat or dog while you hide then give the Find and your name command to teach another behavior.

If your pet is in better shape than you, a game of fetch can stretch out muscles and create those feel good endorphins that will make your pet happy and relaxed when the game is over.

Make Getting in Shape Fun

Just the thought of exercise can make you tired, but if you make working out a game for you and your pets, you’ll both enjoy getting in shape.

And don’t forget to get a Hale Pet Door to make sure that your pets are healthy and happy in 2014!

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Holiday Pet Safety Tips

Golden Retriever with Christmas Tree

Enjoy the holidays with your pets by keeping them safe

The holiday season is officially here! It’s time to celebrate with family and friends with decorations, gifts and luscious foods. It’s tempting to give in to the soulful looks of your furry friends when you’re enjoying exotic foods, it’s important to know that some of your favorite foods and decorations can be toxic or dangerous to your pets.

Foods that Can be Toxic to Your Pet

  •  Alcohol in beer, wine, mixed drinks
  • Caffeine in coffee, tea, soft drinks, cold medications and pain killers
  • Chocolate in candies, cakes and cocoa
  • Yeast Dough before baking
  • Raw Eggs
  • Fat Trimmings and Bones
  • Grapes, Raisins and Currants
  • Macadamia Nuts
  • Milk and Dairy Foods
  • Onions and Garlic
  • Persimmon, Peach and Plum pits contain cyanide
  • Raw Meat and Fish
  • Salty Foods
  • Sugary Drinks and Desserts
  • Xylitol sweetened candy, toothpaste, gum, baked goods and diet foods

Be Careful with Your Holiday Decorations

The following holiday decorations have been known to be hazardous to pets:

  • Pointsettias, Lilies, Mistletoe and Holly Berries
  • Tinsel and Garland if ingested
  • Candles can cause burns or become a fire hazard
  • Electrical Cords if chewed
  • Flocking or Imitation Snow
  • Preservatives in Live Christmas Tree Water
  • Snow Globes and Bubble Lights can contain toxic chemicals
  • Edible Ornaments can have toxic components
  • Potpourri can contain Essential Oils that can be toxic to cats: Cinnamon Bark Oil, Lavender Oil, Lemon Oil,  Melaleuca/Tea Tree Oil, Peppermint Oil, Thyme Oil or Wintergreen Oil

Plan Your Festivities to Avoid Your Pets’ Anxiety

You love sharing your home with family and friends, but make sure to consider your pets when entertaining – what’s fun for you may be stressful for your furry family members.

While your Labrador can be comfortable in the midst of the party, your cat may not be as social. Know your pet, if you think your cat or shy dog might be freaked out by so many strangers in the house, give them safe haven in a closed bedroom, their crate, or bed in a quiet corner.

Be sure to caution your guests about approaching your pets while they are in their “safe spots”. When your pets feel that they’re safe, they’ll come out of hiding to mingle, but don’t be surprised if they don’t appreciate your party.

Get a Hale Pet Door and Take the Stress Out of the Holidays

 Your pets’ safe haven may be their fenced backyard. When you have an energy efficient Hale Pet Door, your pets can come and go to the party as they please.

If you’re going to be away for the holidays, your pet sitter will appreciate the convenience your dog door brings to her schedule and your dog’s well being because he won’t have to wait for someone to come and let him out.

When you’re out visiting friends and relatives, the time can fly by – but with a durable Hale Pet Door, you won’t have to worry about getting home to let your dog out because she’ll be able to go out when she needs to.

There are dog doors for every location in your home. Check them out at Hale Pet Door and order yours today!