Wednesday, February 8, 2017

What Kind of Exercise is Best for Indoor Cats?

As a maker of healthy pet food, we get to talk to a lot of awesome people about their pets. We enjoy learning new information during these conversations and sharing our knowledge with others. In that spirit, we want to cover a topic that's come up on multiple occasions.

The topic we're referring to is indoor cats and exercise. There's a common belief that cats who spend their time indoors are automatically able to find ways to get the exercise they need.

The Importance of Exercise for Indoor Cats

Every cat owner knows that these animals love to sleep. It's completely normal for cats to spend anywhere from twelve to sixteen hours a day sleeping. While outdoor cats also have a lot of downtime, they should dedicate a good portion of their time to hunting for food.

The issue with domestic cats is they don't have to worry about tracking down food. Instead, pets know that their owner will bring them food. Even though it's nice that pet cats don't have to worry about where they're going to get their next meal, this comfort is a slippery slope.

The reason is in the absence of needing to hunt for food or deal with other types of stimulation, a cat can definitely get bored and lethargic. When this happens, it quite commonly leads to gaining extra weight. Being obese or simply overweight can create a number of health problems for cats, including anesthetic complications and urinary disorders.

The Best Type of Exercise

Since boredom is an issue that can create both behavioral and health problems, the best type of exercise for indoor cats should address both issues. That's why you'll want to focus on exercise that brings out your cat's natural desire to hunt. There are several toys that make this quite easy to do. By finding toys that get your cat really excited, you'll be able to hold its attention for an entire exercise session and help it stay quite active through chasing & pouncing.

The general rule of thumb for indoor cats is fifteen minutes of focused exercise a day. Younger cats may require a little more time, while older cats will probably need slightly less. The same is true for breeds (for example, Savannahs are naturally more energetic than Persians).

It's worth noting that even with plenty of exercise, some cats may still struggle to maintain a healthy weight. If you have this issue with your pet and are looking for a way to keep calories under control while still providing all the nutrients your cat needs for optimal health, be sure to take a look at our lean cat formula.


How to Keep Your Dog Relaxed During Vet Visits

We make dog food that helps pets feel their best every day. Because it's a topic we care about a lot, we want to focus on another essential element of great pet health. That element is professional care from a vet. Just as it's important for people to go to a doctor for regular checkups even if they feel fine, dogs need to be seen by a vet on a regular basis.

Vets play a central role in dogs' health, which is why we always recommend that owners take their time and find a vet they feel truly comfortable working with. But even if you personally feel great about the relationship with your vet, your dog may have different thoughts. Dogs of all sizes get anxious, overwhelmed, or downright worried when they visit the vet.

When this happens, it causes a lot of stress for the dog's owner as well. If you've had this kind of experience at the vet and wish you could avoid it in the future, we've got five tips to help you out:

1. Make Visit Days a Fun Adventure

You want your dog to associate going to the vet with positive feelings instead of negative ones. A great way to make this happen is by always taking your dog somewhere fun like a favorite dog park after a visit.

2. Create a Massage Routine

Dogs do best when they have routines to follow. One routine you can create for vet visits is giving your dog a relaxing massage. You'll want to practice this prior to the day of a visit. Practicing will give you a chance to figure out what type of touch your dog finds most relaxing. Then once you know what works best, you can apply this technique multiple times throughout a vet visit.

3. Take Initiative with Brushing

A common source of stress during vet visits is dogs aren't used to having their mouths opened. You can reduce this source of anxiety by regularly brushing your dog's teeth. Not only will this habit make your vet visits smoother, but it will noticeably help your dog's oral health.

4. Refresh Basic Obedience

Basic obedience commands can help a lot during a vet visit. If there are certain commands that your dog knows but may be a little rusty with, it's worth doing a little refresher work before your next vet appointment.

5. Use Treats and Toys

Both dog treats and toys can help distract your dog or change its state of mind to being much happier. Having these items easily accessible when you go to the vet may be exactly what's needed to avoid any stressful situations.

By making visit days a fun adventure, creating a massage routine, taking initiative with brushing, refreshing basic obedience and using toys & treats, you'll be able to make your visits to the vet a great experience for everyone who's involved.