Tag Archives: Need

How Much Exercise Does Your Pet Really Need?

Exercise is one of the fundamental components of having a healthy pet. Obesity and diet issues are a major cause of the early death of pets. Behavioral issues can also be caused by lack of exercise- a dog who is bored is liable to be destructive around the home or find things to do to entertain himself which might be unwanted behaviors. Furthermore, dogs who are not sufficiently exercise are usually not calm enough to focus on training, and so these behavioral issues can be compounded.

It can be difficult to determine whether your dog or cat is getting sufficient exercise. As dogs and cats get older, they tend to exercise and move around less. The hyper energy of a puppy or kitten who wants to play all the time gives way to a calm, sedate animal who wants to take naps at your feet. As online pet memorials demonstrate, many owners especially love these calmer, quieter times with pets. However, as enjoyable as these times are, it is essential to ensure that even the laziest dog or cat gets some exercise.

One sure way to tell if your pet is getting enough exercise is to monitor its weight. Even being a few pounds over weight can dramatically shorten the lifespan of your dog or cat. In order to put off the purchase of pet grave markers and pet urns for as long as possible, it is essential to assure that your cat or dog are fit and in shape. You should be able to run your fingers along the spine of your pet and feel its rib cage, but just barely. If the rib cage is too pronounced, then your pet is too thin. If you can’t feel it, your pet is too heavy. You can also weigh your pet and determine whether your pet falls within the acceptable weight range from its breed, but since every pet is different, you are better off judging by looking at your own animal.

Annual vet exams can also give you a wealth of other information regarding whether your pet is getting enough exercise. Exercise leads to a strong heart and strong muscles. While older dogs may need shorter periods of exercise- perhaps several short walks instead of one long walk- it is still important to maintain this exercise to keep the dog as healthy as he can be.

As dogs and cats age, you may have to modify the type of exercise that they do. Older dogs, who potentially have joint problems or health issues, may find even a short walk to be too strenuous. Water therapy and swimming may be an excellent source of exercise for an older dog, as the dog is able to get the exercise that it needs without a walk that puts stress on the joints. For cats, they may not choose to engage in even low key play, so in that case monitoring their diet becomes even more essential to avoid obesity once they are no longer interested in exercise.

Colleen Mihelich
Owner, Peternity . . . honoring your pet for eternity
[email protected]

Do You Need Pet Loss Counseling?

So you’ve been devastated by the loss of a family member… your beloved pet! And you feel like you might just need pet loss counseling.

You may be bewildered at the depth of your sadness over losing a pet. After all, it’s “just an animal… right?” You and I both know it was much more than that. First and foremost, you need to understand that you have the right (and need) to mourn deeply and fully over the loss of your animal companion.

Right now, your sadness and distress over your loss has caused you to reach out for help (or you wouldn’t be here). But first we will discuss some basic truths about pet loss grief that might help you understand and feel a little better.

One of the best things you can do to help yourself is realize that although most outsiders don’t understand, you are perfectly justified in your deep feelings of grief and loss. The loss of a beloved family pet can be devastating. In general, our society does not recognize the significance of pet loss or allow for a proper bereavement. You may even be embarrassed or uneasy about expressing your grief to others, and may end up feeling isolated and alone in your grief. When a pet dies, there are no formal and public rituals, like a funeral, where sorrow can be openly expressed and emotional support freely given. Since we don’t know how to properly deal with pet loss grief, we usually suffer in silence.

Now how do you deal with people who don’t understand what you’re going through?

These are three biggies you are sure to hear:

“It was just an animal”

“just get over it,” OR

“You can always get another pet”.

These only-too-often-heard statements by well-meaning friends show a profound lack of understanding and empathy for your pain.

They just don’t understand, and have probably never suffered the pain of losing a beloved animal themselves. The best thing you can do is simply to forgive them for their ignorance. They really do mean well. Let insensitive comments roll off your back, and don’t let them make you feel like you don’t have a legitimate right to grieve. Avoid these “well meaning” folks and contact that someone you have found who does care, and will listen to your tale of grief without trying to “fix everything”.

If you have found your way to this article, you are looking for some major help in dealing with your pain and grief, perhaps even pet loss counseling. And in extreme cases, we very much recommend professional help. But before you progress to this major (and probably expensive) intervention, we think you should try to find the support you need from among your friends and family members.

First, arm yourself with some knowledge and understanding about the normal grief process. Learn what reactions you can expect in grief, and find out how to make grief more bearable. Visit your public library, bookstore or pet supply center and ask for information and literature on pet loss and bereavement.

It is important to find an understanding, nonjudgmental listener who will listen to your story, and let you work through your pain without offering “quick fixes”. It takes time to come to terms with your loss, and it will be easier if you can find a supportive friend to help.

If you feel like you need some pet loss counseling to overcome your grief, by all means make an appointment with a grief counselor. You may even find one experienced in pet loss grief. Pull out the yellow pages and start calling veterinarians in your area, or call the local pet shelter. Ask if they know of any experienced pet bereavement counselors. Or call your family physician and ask for a referral to a grief counselor.

Follow the Pet Loss link below for more information and support from folks who do “get it”.