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Top 5 Fun Activities to Keep Your Dog Active and Healthy

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Dogs require both physical and mental stimulation to live a healthy life. They can easily become bored without it, and a bored dog is naughty.

Try these fun and easy activities to help keep your pup active and healthy.

Fetch is one of the most common dog games and a great exercise for your pet. Try changing up the objects you throw for them to chase to keep it challenging.

Walk or Jog

Exercise your dog regularly since it’s one of the most important things you can do with your dog to keep them healthy. Walking or jogging helps their heart and lungs and improves their metabolism, so they don’t store excess weight or develop conditions like diabetes or high blood pressure.

Running also allows dogs to use their primal instincts and release energy, which can help lower anxiety and fear in many dogs. It’s not uncommon for dogs to experience a runner’s high—the nearly euphoric feeling of extreme happiness and contentment- after long runs, and this boost in mood is also beneficial for their mental health.

If you and your dog enjoy the outdoors, try jogging together in a park or on local trails. It’s important to note that many dogs have difficulty running in open areas where they can easily encounter other people and animals. This is why it’s best to make daily walks a consistent part of your schedule and gradually build up the time you spend exercising together.

Play Tug-of-War

Playing tug-of-war is a great way to physically and mentally exercise your dog. It is also a great confidence builder for them. Despite what some old-school trainers might tell you, playing tug does not make your dog aggressive or dominant (as long as both dogs are compatible). If you are concerned about how arousing the game may be, watch their body language and be prepared to give them a release cue or stop the game at any sign of teeth coming into contact with your hand or intense arousal.

You will want to find a sturdy tug toy that is flexible when bitten and has a handle to keep your hand away from the mouth. Please start with the tiniest bit of pressure, and once they are regularly and reliably holding on, gradually increase the force. Play at the time of day when your dog is most energetic; this will help keep their interest in the activity.

As a long-term activity, playing tug can reinforce behaviors like dropping the ball or responding quickly when called. To do this, you will need to teach them that they receive a reward by letting go of the toy at a designated time.

Hide and Seek

Aside from being fun for dogs, hiding and seeking are them. It gives them an emotional workout, which is important for emotional wellness. Hide and seek is a game of separation and reunion. It’s a dance between exploring and being discovered, which helps kids develop resiliency by learning that separations don’t last forever and that reunion is always joyful.

Dogs are pack animals and love to hang out with people. They even enjoy getting on their belly to be petted and scratched. You can find many fun YouTube videos of people doing yoga with their dogs, a great way to stretch your dog and yourself simultaneously.

For mental stimulation, hide and seek can be as simple as placing treats under cups while your dog watches from another room. You can also play a more challenging version of this game with food puzzle toys requiring your dog to tilt or shake the toy to extract their meal. This is a great way to engage a hungry pup when they are home alone during the day.

Stair Climbing

Stair climbing is a great exercise for dogs that can’t do much jumping. It can also be a good alternative for older, smaller dogs who cannot jump on a couch because of back injuries. Dog stairs or ramps can help make getting on the sofa easier for those pups and can be stored easily in a closet or under the bed.

Try doing a Tabata-style workout on the stairs for maximum intensity. Start with a dynamic warm-up (one minute each of high knees, butt kicks, and side shuffles on flat ground), then sprint up the stairs as fast as you can for 20 seconds, then slow to a walking pace for 10 seconds, repeat.

Puzzle Toys

Puzzle toys offer physical and mental stimulation for dogs. They help alleviate boredom and reduce destructive behavior, such as chewing or digging in the house. They also can distract dogs when you need to complete tasks like making a phone call or cooking supper.

When choosing a puzzle toy, consider your dog’s temperament and age. Puppies and senior dogs will need easier puzzles that don’t require a lot of thought to access treats, while active, curious dogs may prefer more advanced toys that will challenge their mind.

Beginner puzzles, such as the Our Pets sushi toy, hide treats behind movable rolls that must be batted or nudged to access them. More intermediate options include snuffle mats, such as the Bob-a-Lot, which forces dogs to use their sense of smell to sniff out hard-to-access food.

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The Impact of Animal Welfare Organizations on Communities

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Animal rescue efforts are essential for local communities because they help save animals’ lives and promote policies that prevent animal cruelty. They can also provide educational opportunities to community members.

Stakeholder networks must be resilient to the disturbances that inevitably affect their work. Ideally, they can adapt to these disturbances without losing their identity or purpose.

Advocacy

Animal welfare organizations frequently advocate to champion policies benefiting animals and humans. Examples include collaborating with lawmakers to promote responsible pet ownership, eliminate breed-discriminatory laws, and develop more humane housing options for pets. Some organizations, such as The Humane Society of New York (HSNY), a non-profit dedicated to animal welfare, extend their efforts beyond advocacy. HSNY provides essential and emergency medical services for cats and dogs, offering shelter and day-to-day care for rescued animals until suitable owners can be found. Additionally, animal welfare organizations undertake community programs, such as hosting low-cost spay/neuter clinics, organizing adoption fairs, and implementing no-kill initiatives to achieve shelter save rates of 90% or higher.

Some of the most successful advocates work in countries with established farmed animal movements that are more willing to accept and support activist tactics like street protests and other high-profile campaigns that generate media attention. However, talented and well-prepared individuals can get involved with farmed animal advocacy even in countries where these strategies could be more effective. This could include working as a volunteer or offering to act in a temporary care role, such as a foster home for a farm animal.

Educating the Community

Many animal control and field services officers believed community outreach was essential to their organizations. These officers felt that a focus on providing events for the public to interact with them personally increased community trust and led to positive outcomes for animals and people alike.

Officers also identified a need to continue outreach programs such as pet food pantries and community cats. Other resources that could be added included community veterinary clinics, free or low-cost spay/neuter services, and training for animal behaviorists.

These programs can address human inequities that limit access to pet care and veterinary services, contributing to the risk of shelter relinquishment. In addition, research has shown that community stressors such as economic disadvantage, poverty, crime, crowded housing, and high percentages of female-headed households are related to higher levels of reported animal cruelty. Providing pet support services may be an effective strategy for addressing these social stressors. This study’s findings can help these organizations establish and manage programs that benefit their communities and the animals within them.

Volunteer Management

The ability to recruit, train, and manage volunteers is a critical component of an animal welfare organization. A thriving volunteer program helps reduce staffing shortages and overwork, which can lead to burnout among animal shelter personnel and volunteers.

Although there are many books on general volunteer management, there needs to be more specific information available for animal care and control organizations on how to recruit and retain volunteers. This specialized manual fills that gap.

Community engagement is essential to addressing the root causes of animal cruelty and neglect. Research shows that areas with higher levels of human economic stress have higher rates of stray intake and euthanasia. Providing pet support services, such as food and supplies, low-cost veterinary care, training assistance, fences, and crates, in communities with financial distress is a critical way to improve access to the resources needed to keep pets healthy and thriving.

Fundraising

Animal welfare organizations depend on donors to fund their operations, and these supporters can be a crucial resource for helping animals. Faunalytics has researched how people support animal-focused causes and found that donating to an organization with a clear mission is associated with higher satisfaction levels for the donor.

Officers also discussed community engagement and how it related to their work. Many officers described the need for a more collaborative approach with their community. Some pointed out that there is a need for more resources to help with outreach and education and to allow officers the opportunity to interact with the public.

Other officers noted that “trap neuter return” (TNR) programs have positively impacted trust in the community and reduced the number of healthy cats euthanized. However, some officers indicated that they struggle to get support from their supervisors and leadership (“they should do more”) and from other local animal control and field service organizations and governments (“wish they had a different perspective”). This is an area where partnerships can be beneficial.

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Ways You Can Support Animal Welfare in Your Community

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Animal shelters and rescue groups do so much for pets and people, often with limited resources. Please show them your appreciation by donating your time, items, or money.

Every animal welfare organization has bills to pay, including veterinary care, food, and supplies. Monetary donations help with daily operations, training, animal housing upgrades, and community outreach programs.

Donate to a Shelter

Many local animal welfare programs and shelters rely on monetary donations to continue their work in the community. Donations help fund staff, supplies, and housing upgrades. Donations can also allow shelters to offer fee-free pet adoptions during a certain period to alleviate overcrowding and increase adoptions.

Check with your local shelter to see what physical items they need. Many have wish lists that can be viewed on their social media pages or websites to ensure your donation is most beneficial to the organization.

Often, the best way to donate is through a fundraiser. Hosting your fundraiser can help you greatly impact the lives of needy animals. The funds raised can be used for anything from staff training to pet food.

Volunteer

Millions of dogs and cats come into animal shelters nationwide each year, and sadly, many of them will never be adopted. One way to assist is by offering your services as a volunteer at a nearby shelter or rescue group, such as Virginia Chipurnoi does. Whether walking dogs, socializing cats, or assisting with adoptions, your time is greatly appreciated!

Other volunteer opportunities include implementing trap-neuter-return for community cats (TNR), helping to raise funds, and supporting ongoing fundraisers. Check-in with your local shelter to see what their current needs are.

You can also become a vocal advocate for animals in your community by boycotting companies that experiment on animals and stores that promote pet mills, speaking out against cruelty, and voting for bills that will protect animal welfare. Incorporate these activities into your daily routine to prioritize animal welfare and give voiceless animals a fighting chance.

Adopt a Pet

Getting involved with your local animal shelter or rescue group is a great way to support animals and their well-being. Depending on the organization, you can volunteer, donate items, or even foster pets! Fostering is where you take in a pet temporarily to help ease overcrowding.

Each year, 8 to 12 million dogs, cats, and puppies are euthanized because there aren’t enough homes for them. Adopting from a shelter or rescue helps to break this cycle!

Supporting animal welfare can also mean promoting compassion towards animals and educating others to be responsible with their pets. Reporting cruelty is essential to helping fight this issue and ensuring that animals are treated respectfully. Nipping this problem in the bud is crucial for their long-term health and happiness.

Report Cruelty

You can help end cruelty by donating to local shelters and volunteering. You can also spread the word about responsible pet ownership and support initiatives to strengthen animal anti-cruelty laws.

If you witness abuse or neglect, it’s important to report it immediately. Signs of abuse can include untreated wounds, thinness or lack of food, and behavioral signs like aggression, fear, withdrawal, and more. Providing detailed information and photos can assist the police and other authorities when investigating suspected cruelty. Reporting animals in need can also help protect yourself; state law provides legal indemnity for veterinarians who act to stop the mistreatment of pets and other animals. Including animal welfare in your community’s daily lives helps prioritize animals, and it can start at home by teaching children about compassion and respect for all living creatures.

Educate Others

From shelter pets to wildlife, all animals need our help sometimes. Volunteering, fostering, and making a donation are just a few ways that you can help.

Building a coalition of animal welfare and social service organizations is another way to increase the number of animals your community can greatly help. Coalitions can help prevent duplication of efforts and ensure that your community works together to address the issues.

Talk to your local lawmakers about policies that prioritize animal welfare. They can be a huge factor in shaping the future of your community. Encourage them to support cage-free products, ask restaurants to stop serving shark fin soup, and promote humane education. It’s the small changes that make a difference.

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The best plant based organic food ranges for your pet.

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Many people choose to buy organic foods to live a healthy lifestyle and protect the environment. Should pet owners also make this switch for their four-legged friends? The answer is yes, Organic plant based pet food can be found practically everywhere, but you need a reliable place to buy plant based food for your furry.

Boosie.co is the most reliable food selling store for your pets. Their plant based food promote canine and feline health by including essential vitamins and minerals, such as vitamin B12, vitamin E and zinc. In general, they are prepared with natural ingredients, such as edible mushrooms, vegetables and flaxseed oil. The main benefit of switching to organic food is promoting your pet’s health.

Their organic diets use ingredients grown without the application of pesticides or chemical fertilizers. The organic diets are designed and produced using all the specialized care and health knowledge you would expect from a veterinary pet nutrition brand, but made with organic ingredients.

Some tips for introducing your pet to plant based organic food.

1. Use foods of plant origin as a topping on his usual food: placing 2 or 3 spoons of vegan food on your pet’s usual meal is an excellent way to vary his diet while benefiting from the benefits of foods of plant origin.

2. Try Meatless Mondays: Follow the human trend and start with small steps. This is a great way to introduce your pet to the delights of vegan pet food.

3. Go for half portions of meal: Try offering your pet vegan options for half of his meals. You can try vegan breakfasts or dinners. The boosie.co herbal range is available in different recipes, so you are spoiled for choice.

4. Take it easy: A sudden change in diet can upset pet’s delicate stomach. For your information, the transition to super food should be done gradually over a period of 2 weeks. They should replace 25% of their current food for 3 to 5 days, then 50% for another 3 to 5 days, and finally 75% for the final days. For the most sensitive stomachs you can facilitate the transition by giving different tablets which will provide an additional supply of prebiotics and probiotics and help to find a good balance of the intestinal flora.

5. Be flexitarian: you decide what your pet eats. If you want to try your pet’s regular meat foods along with plant foods, that’s perfect. The choice is up to you and the furry.

6. Eat a fully vegan diet: Research has shown that pets can thrive on a vegan diet, as long as it is nutritionally balanced and contains all the essential nutrients a pet needs. Once your pet has adjusted to his new diet, you can transition to a completely vegan diet. Scientific evidence shows that plant-based foods can provide all the nutrients, vitamins, minerals and antioxidants that helps your pet to stay healthy, while providing a clean, transparent and sustainable alternative to meat-based diets. A vegan diet can also help regulate your pet’s weight.

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