McAlester News-Capital, McAlester, OK

Opinion

August 23, 2012

PAWS - Exercise your pets

McALESTER — All animals need exercise. Cats need to play, dogs need to run, even hamsters need to spin on their wheels. According to American Humane here is what you can do to make sure your cat or dog gets enough exercise and reaps the rewards of this healthy habit.

Because cats don’t run up to their owners with balls in their mouths, many people assume that they don’t want or need to be played with at all. That’s not true. Cats need exercise and lots of mental stimulation and without it, they can get bored and develop behavior problems. They like to chase things because they are natural hunters. It would be a good idea to challenge them and excite them by inventing games where they can hunt imaginary prey.

The best toy is a fishing pole-type that has feathers, streamers or other items attached to it with a string. Remember to make sure they don’t have any loose parts that the cat can choke on. Cats will love it if you act out the movements of a bird or insect flying overhead or a small animal scurrying across the floor by moving the toy in short, jerky motions. Be sure to allow the cat to catch it once in a while so it doesn’t get bored.

Playing with your cat for ten minutes at a time will provide enjoyment for both of you and will also create a inseparable bond between you and your kitty.

Even with fenced yards to provide a safe, handy place for your dog to play and relax, it still deserves at least one walk a day outside the yard. This time together provides interaction between you and your pal. It will also establish mutual communication and a strong bond of affection. Socialization skills for your dog is very important, so walks provide a chance to socialize with other dogs. Puppies need to learn the rules of canine social interaction from meeting other dogs. Without these skills, problem behaviors can develop.

If you keep your dog in a fenced yard, it may get bored because there is no variety of scenery. Think about it. Can you imagine being able to see a park, alley, or a vacant log from your yard, but you can never have a chance to explore what you see. Most dogs don’t run around a fenced yard enough to get the exercise they need. If you can take your pal and walk, even for a short distance, you can always build up to a mile a day, which would benefit you as well as your dog. Remember, though, that small dogs with short legs may not be able to walk the same distance as larger breeds.

When it is all said and done, have fun with your pet. If you don’t have any activity and variety in your life and you stay indoors all the time, you would probably get frustrated also. Please have your pet spayed or neutered. PAWS has a low-income program that will help you. Call 918-470-7297 to see if you qualify. Looking for a pet to add to your family? Don’t buy off the street corner. Visit the Pittsburg County Animal Shelter. Their number is 918-423-7803.

Joyce McNally is a PAWS volunteer and advocate for prevention of pet abuse and neglect. Comments or questions can be directed to her at wwjoyce@swbell.net.

1
Text Only | Photo Reprints
Opinion
Seasonal Content
AP Video
Raw: Orthodox Christians Observe Easter Rite Ceremony Marks 19th Anniversary of OKC Bombing Raw: Four French Journalists Freed From Syria Raw: Massive 7.2 Earthquake Rocks Mexico Captain of Sunken SKorean Ferry Arrested Raw: Fire Destroys 3 N.J. Beachfront Homes Raw: Pope Presides Over Good Friday Mass Raw: Space X Launches to Space Station Superheroes Descend on Capitol Mall Man Charged in Kansas City Highway Shootings Obama Awards Navy Football Trophy Anti-semitic Leaflets Posted in Eastern Ukraine Raw: Magnitude-7.2 Earthquake Shakes Mexico City Ceremony at MIT Remembers One of Boston's Finest Raw: Students Hurt in Colo. School Bus Crash Raw: Church Tries for Record With Chalk Jesus Raw: Faithful Celebrate Good Friday Worldwide Deadly Avalanche Sweeps Slopes of Mount Everest Police Arrest Suspect in Highway Shootings Drought Concerns May Hurt Lake Tourism
NDN Video
Jabari Parker's Top 5 Plays From Duke Career Kourtney Kardashian Is a Bikini Babe More Manpower Than Ever Expected At 4/20 Rally Debunk'd: Miley Cyrus AIDS, Cheeseburgers Cause Cancer, Military Warning Bill Previewing the NBA playoffs Raw: Orthodox Christians Observe Easter Rite My name is Cocaine Raw: Space X Launches to Space Station Lohan Gets Candid About Her Sex List The 2014 New York Auto Show Meet Johnny Manziel's New Girlfriend Chelsea Clinton Announces Pregnancy Funny: Celebrating Easter with Martha Stewart and Friends Man Accuses 'X-Men' Director Bryan Singer of Sexually Abusing Him As a Teenager Man hit with $525 federal fine after he doesn't pay for soda refill Lea Michele & Naya Rivera Feuding? Jabari Parker declares for the NBA draft Singing Nun Belts Out Cyndi Lauper New West, Texas Explosion Video Swim Daily, Throwback Thursday
Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.