MAKE EX­ER­CISE A WALK IN THE PARK

Natural Solutions - - Healthmatters Pets -

As the weather warms up in most parts of the coun­try, you are likely look­ing for­ward to get­ting out and walk­ing your pup. Af­ter all, ex­er­cise is great for your pet for some of the same rea­sons it’s great for you: im­proved cir­cu­la­tion, weight man­age­ment, heart health, and men­tal stim­u­la­tion. Keep these tips in mind to make the most of all your spring out­ings.

CHANGE UP YOUR ROUTE so nei­ther of you get bored with the same old rou­tine. You can even drive to a new lo­ca­tion (such as a park or trail) and start there.

WALK WHEN YOU WAKE UP to tire your dog out be­fore you head to work. He’ll feel less anx­ious when you leave, and prob­a­bly take a nap.

CON­SIDER VIS­IT­ING AN IN­DOOR WALK­ING AREA, such as a pet-friendly mall, if the weather proves chal­leng­ing.

IN­VEST IN A PET STROLLER for older dogs who still need the ben­e­fits of ex­er­cise but who might not be able to walk long dis­tances all at once. This way, they can al­ter­nate be­tween walk­ing and rid­ing.

PUT SAFETY FIRST and use a har­ness rather than a stan­dard leash and col­lar; a har­ness doesn’t strain or pull on the neck. For night walks, get a re­flec­tive strip or light for her col­lar. Source: Sergeant’s Pet Care Prod­ucts Whether it’s a scary storm, an ac­ci­dent, or an evac­u­a­tion sit­u­a­tion, there is of­ten lit­tle time to think dur­ing emer­gen­cies. Here’s how to pre­pare now and avoid added stress.

1. Up­date con­tact in­for­ma­tion or mi­crochip.

2. Pre­pare a “Pet Emer­gency Go Kit” that in­cludes first-aid sup­plies, a three-day sup­ply of pet food and bot­tled wa­ter, a safety har­ness and leash, waste cleanup sup­plies, med­i­ca­tions and med­i­cal records, a con­tact list of vet­eri­nar­ian and pet-care or­ga­ni­za­tions, in­for­ma­tion on your pet’s feed­ing rou­tine and/or be­hav­ioral is­sues, toys, and a blan­ket.

3. Dis­play a pet res­cue de­cal on your front door or win­dow so first re­spon­ders will know there is a pet in the house.

4. Learn your pet’s fa­vorite hid­ing spots— if you need to evac­u­ate, this will help you move more quickly.

5. Iden­tify an evac­u­a­tion lo­ca­tion. Some dis­as­ter shel­ters may not be open to pets, so scout hotels and mo­tels with pet-friendly poli­cies or ask friends and rel­a­tives if they could house you and your pet in the case of an emer­gency.

6. Carry a pic­ture of your pet sep­a­rated.

on your pet’s col­lar

in case you get

7. Pur­chase a re­li­able pet car­rier small pets. Source: Hill’s Pet Nu­tri­tion

5 months

or crate for

The age at which a cat can be­come preg­nant. “Kit­ten sea­son” starts in the spring, with their off­spring of­ten flood­ing an­i­mal shel­ters and res­cue groups. Add a fluffy friend to your fam­ily by check­ing out your lo­cal shel­ter. Source: The Hu­mane So­ci­ety of the United States Plant­ing rose­mary in your gar­den keeps flea and tick in­va­sions to a min­i­mum— with­out caus­ing harm to you, your pet, or the en­vi­ron­ment.

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