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sleepy cat

Giving your Dogs and Cats a Good Night’s Sleep

It seems like we can’t go a week without reading (yet) another new study about how a good night’s sleep is important to our health. It’s no secret that sleep is extremely beneficial to us. So, what about our pets? They need a good night’s rest as well. But what does that mean exactly?

 

Sleep For the Dogs

 

Dog parents know that sometimes it feels like their dog is always sleeping or taking a nap. Unlike us humans, dogs don’t get their sleep in one session, instead they take a series of short naps throughout the day. In total, dogs can sleep anywhere from 12 to 14 hours each day to get the amount of rest they need. Sleeping habits can also depend on age, breed, and activity levels.

 

To help your dog get the good rest he needs, tend to his evolutionary needs. Remember that his ancestors lived in the wild, in dens and caves. Make sure your pup has a comfortable and safe place to rest by creating a bed and a sleeping area just for him.

 

Exercise and diet also play a large part in your dog’s sleep. A low-quality diet can slow a dog down because he lacks the appropriate nutrients he needs for energy. So make sure to feed your pet with nutrient-rich foods like our Freshpet meals and rolls. Lack of activity and exercise may cause a dog to become lethargic and sleep more than necessary. If your dog is sleeping more than 14 hours a day, give him some more exercise!

 

Sleep for the Cats

 

There’s a reason why it’s called a cat nap. it’s no secret that cats sleep a lot; in fact, they spend most of their day (an average of 18 hours) sleeping! Due to their evolutionary traits, cats are most active during dawn and dusk (sometimes pestering their parents), when their wild ancestors went out to hunt. The rest of the day is spent to conserve their energy.

 

So because cats sleep all the time, it’s important for you to learn what kind of sleep cycle is normal for your cat. Note whether they’re a cat napper, a deep sleeper during the day, or a night sleeper. Changes in sleep patterns can be a sign of a health issue, which is something you should consult your veterinarian with. Try and keep up with your cat’s sleep to give her an easy and comfortable routine. And, as is the case with training any pet, patience is a virtue!

 

The ultimate sleep: Enter to win The Madison Bed

 

Since comfort is always important when it comes to your pets getting great sleep, we wanted to help you, our dedicated fans, give your pets a more comfortable place to sleep. Our friends at Lazy Bonezz will be giving away one of their Madison beds to one lucky winner. All you have to do to enter is post a funny photo of your pet sleeping on our Facebook page and “like” Lazy Bonezz on Facebook or Twitter!

 

Be sure to enter by Thursday 4/24!

 

Good luck and sweet dreams!

 

Take your pup for a hike on a beautiful day like this! (Photo courtesy of Towle N.)

Fresh Tips for Keeping Your Pet Fit With Dr. Katy Nelson

Just like it’s important for our health and wellness to stay in shape, our dogs and cats can benefit from regular exercise, too. Of course it can be hard to find time to exercise in our busy schedules, let alone do so alongside our pets. Not to mention doing the same exercises over and over can get pretty boring.

 

So to help both you and your pet get in great shape with a fresh routine, here’s a list of my favorite ways to get moving:

 

Go for a Run – Instead of going to the gym to run on the treadmill, change things up and bring your fur-friend along! Most local tracks do not allow pets; so take the time to explore different options such as paths through the woods or roads with sidewalks. Not only will you get a chance to take in the fresh air, but you also get to spend more time with your favorite companion.

 

Go For a Hike – Hiking in a hilly area is a great way to change things up as it works different muscles than walking on a flat surface. The best part? You get to enjoy the beautiful outdoors, soak in the sunshine, and take in some fresh air with you favorite friend! Just be sure to bring along plenty of water for both of you to stay hydrated.

 

Take your pup for a hike on a beautiful day like this! (Photo courtesy of Towle N.)

Take your pup for a hike on a beautiful day like this! (Photo courtesy of Towle N.)

 

Take a Morning Walk – Instead of waiting until after work to exercise, try taking a walk in the morning with your fur-kid. If you’re not a morning person, allow some of your pet’s natural energy to rub off on you and keep you motivated throughout the rest of the day.

 

Go For a Bike Ride – We know you’re thinking that your pals cannot pedal, but they don’t need to as long as you can! Get on a bike and go for a slow ride and bring your pooch along. While you do the biking, he or she can run alongside you. We’ve found that one of the easiest ways to do this is by hooking the leash around your wrist so you can still use both hands to control the bike. If you’re an expert roller skater or skateboarder, try this with your pal, too!

 

Doga – Dog yoga, or “doga,” can help de-stress you and your pup. This practice incorporates massaging, stretching, relaxing, and of course, some good bonding. You can even try “catoga” if your feline is willing. Ask around in your area because there might be group classes offered.

 

Fetch Races – Does your fur-friend love to play fetch? Well you should too! Instead of standing still while he or she chases the ball, try to make it a race. Not only will your pup enjoy this game even more, the short sprints will help you burn more fat and improve your agility.

 

Abs with Fur-Friends – Ever thrown a ball back and forth with a friend while doing crunches? Instead of a medicine ball, try a tennis ball. Throw the ball at the top of your crunch for your pup to chase down and return to you. Then repeat. For a more advanced exercise, see how many crunches you can do while your pup is chasing the ball. Cats can get in on the fun as well. Instead of throwing a ball, hold a small flashlight in one or both hands while you perform your sit-ups. Each time you reach the top, shine the lights on the wall in front of you and move your arms back and forth, always keeping your abs flexed. Your kitty will get exercise chasing the lights while you work on your six-pack.

 

Lift Weights – Tie your playful friend’s favorite toy so that it hangs from your dumbbell. As you move the dumbbell up and down, your pet will jump, working his or her leg muscles while you tone your arms. Try it while doing different exercises like bicep curls and shoulder presses, and for a full body workout, incorporate squats or lunges.

 

Play Tug-of-War – If your pup is feeling playful, grab a rope and work on your arm definition with a gentle game of tug-of-war. You can either attach the rope to their harness so they can pull with their body and run, or let them grab the rope with their teeth. Be careful not to pull too hard. Remember to always have control over your dog as playing this game may bring out the predator in him.

 

Swimming – Take your pal for a swim! While you do your daily laps in the pool, let your dog join you. If your pup isn’t the best swimmer, you can purchase floatation devices made especially for dogs from most pet stores to ensure their safety.

 

I hope you and your pets enjoy trying these exercises and activities! Don’t forget to speak with your doctor and your pet’s vet before starting any new exercise programs.

 

For more information about Dr. Katy or for additional tips on keeping your fur-kid healthy, be sure to check out her website or follow her on Facebook and Twitter!