The holiday season is upon us, and while this time of year brings many wonderful events, it can also be a tough time to maintain your commitment to a healthy lifestyle for yourselves and your pets. We all make excuses - everyone’s busy, it’s cold outside, it’s dark in the evening, company is coming, and so on. In reality, this is a time when it is extra-important to make the time and effort to get outside and get some exercise with your pets!
In the hustle and bustle of holiday baking, shopping, parties, and company, it is easy to say that there is no time to walk the dog or play with the cats. What we must remember is that dogs and cats don’t understand why their routine is upset and why their people suddenly don’t have time for them. They can become restless, anxious, depressed, mischievous, or even destructive when their normal exercise routine is disrupted and they aren’t receiving enough attention. We can make matters worse by trying to appease them with extra treats, and our well-meaning friends and family often slip them more rich food.
What is the cure for all of this holiday stress? Exercise! It’s a great opportunity to spend some one-on-one time with your pets, to work off some of the extra holiday calories, and to relieve stress. Even moderate exercise or a short walk can make a big difference. Snuggly coats and jackets can keep short-haired dogs warm when they’re outside, and many coats and leashes have reflective trim or lights to make it safer to walk in the dark. And if you’re wondering what to do with all that company you have in town, why not bring them along for a walk in one of the beautiful parks or trails in the area?
New Year’s Day is a time when many people make their annual resolutions to exercise, lose weight, and eat a healthier diet. Remember that your dog is a wonderful motivator and exercise buddy. How can you skip your walk when your dog loves it so much? But remember, you don’t have to wait until January 1 to make a resolution to give your pets a healthier life through diet and exercise!