Posted on Wednesday, July 18th, 2012
Pets love the outdoors – even the apartment-dwelling Pug who’s most at home on his Upper West Side Manhattan dog bed or the housecat who’s never been outside except for those few walks from the car to the vet’s office. While our dogs and cats love to curl up inside with us, no matter the season, nature is still in their blood, and the smell of fresh air (or squirrels and mice) will send them into ecstatic joy.
Some summer sunlight isn’t bad for you, either! So how do you work on your tan, load up on sunbeam vitamin D and enjoy the great outdoors with your pet? Try several of these species-specific suggestions.
Dogs- Breed will make a difference when you’re pursuing the great outdoors with your canine friend, but most dogs of any size love a trip to the park. Dog parks are usually divided between large and small breeds, but if yours isn’t, there’s no need to back out. Gauge how busy it is and how you think your pet will react to the other pooches running about. You can always play a game of fetch, just the two of you.
Hiking is also a great option, especially for large athletic breeds like the Labrador Retriever. Follow this link, 10 Tips for Hiking with Dogs, to check out some helpful canine hiking advice. An alternative to hiking might be enjoying a good swim if you prefer to going to a beach or a lake. Just make sure you keep an eye on your pet as he or she is doggy paddling – especially if there are waves or lake-side docks he or she can get caught up in.
Cats – With the right preparation, cats can get in on the action too. If your cat is an outdoorsy sort already, you probably won’t spend much time together unless he or she feels like being around you. Cats tend to hunt and explore on their own, but they aren’t opposed to lying around in the sun with you some afternoons. If you have a yard with a high fence, you can take your kitty out for some supervised exploring. Indoor cats are going to have a harder time, as they’re often not equipped or used to the outside and most owners will want to keep them safe indoors.
One option is to open up your windows so that your housecat has a nice view and can at least imagine chasing those birds. Just make sure all open windows are properly screened so no one takes a tumble – even if cats are known for landing on their feet. Also, don’t forget that cats can wear leashes. Is yours leash trained? Give your housecat a real treat and take him or her for a walk up and down the street. While most cats don’t take to a leash naturally you can explore the stroller option, which gives your kitty a moving but safe view of outside sights and sounds.
This content is provided by the pet wellness experts at Hartz. We know that adopting a dog or cat is a huge commitment, so we’re here to help you feel confident and become the best pet parent you can be.
Photo Credit: JSF539