As the weather gets nicer, we all will want to go outside more. Your pets do, too! Dogs, cats, and horses need to warm up and get stronger before the long walks of spring and summer begin. It’s important to give them a chance to stretch their muscles, just like we humans do.
Here are some things you can do to make sure your four-legged friends are ready to play hard. And with all your pets, be sure you feed and water them well. They need good nutrition as much as you do!
Get a checkup. Have a large animal veterinarian examine your horse before you start riding again this spring.
Set a schedule. Let your vet help you figure out how much riding your horse can handle, gradually increasing as they get used to the exercise.
Warm them up, and cool them down! Be sure you aren’t starting off at a gallop. Your horse needs to work up to hard exercise, just like you do. When you finish, cool them down.
Begin slowly. Take short walks or let them play in a fenced-in yard or dog park.
Pay attention. If your dogs are tired, they’ll stop running, or at least slow down.
Watch their tail. If it’s wagging, they’re still having fun. If it is dragging, they probably need a break.
Let them climb. Set up a multi-level tree or tower specifically made for kitties.
Give in to the chase! Cats like to chase silly objects … a ball of yarn with one end hanging along as a tail to the ball, or a feather, or the red dot from a laser pointer.
Pay attention. If your cats are tired or get bored, they’ll stop playing. They may even get cranky if you try to keep playing. Let them rest!