• Hide-and-seek — this can be a fun game to play with our dogs to encourage them to use their senses. Next time you’re on a woodland walk, wait until your dog is busy investigating something, then quickly hide behind a tree or crouch down behind a bush. Wait for a moment before calling their name — they’ll be excited to seek you out! Make sure you reward them with one of their favourite HiLife treats or a toy. This game can be fun and also improve our dogs’ recall. Don’t forget to ensure you can see your dog at all times.
• Plan a special trek — on a sunny day, it can be enjoyable to set aside an afternoon to explore the local area. Grab a map and perhaps you will notice a footpath you haven’t explored yet and feel encouraged to go a little further afield to enjoy some new scenery. Packing a special picnic can also break up the journey.
• Canine sports — agility is a popular sport for active dogs to get involved with. But did you know that there are many other less conventional sports that allow us and our dogs to get fit together? Mantrailing is a sport in which dogs learn to use their noses to find a person, while cani-cross involves the owner wearing a harness that their dog is attached to as they jog or run together.
• Trick training — from teaching our pup a basic sit command, to training them to jump through a hoop, teaching our dogs new tricks can be very rewarding for everyone involved. You can even reward them with their favourite HiLife treats.
• Dog yoga — dogs are naturally great at the downward-facing dog, but did you know that dog yoga, or ‘doga’, is becoming an increasingly popular activity among pet parents? YouTube has some great how-to tips to get you started.
• Outdoor activities — there are many outdoor activities that we can get our canine companions involved with in our spare time. From kayaking to paddle boarding, there are plenty of ways we can get out and enjoy the great outdoors with our dogs by our sides.
Getting fit with your cat
• Toys — our cats love it when we give them a new toy or gadget to play with. Sometimes, even the simplest objects can offer a new plaything, such as carboard toilet rolls or scrunched up newspaper. Catnip and honeysuckle-based toys are also great for stimulating their senses. Alternating our cats’ toys can also help keep boredom at bay. Dangling a fishing rod-style toy for our cats to chase can also get us moving.
• Walking — just like our dogs, cats can learn to walk on a lead and harness if they are accustomed to it from a young age. This can be especially enriching for an indoor cat and give them the opportunity to really use their senses and get out and about with you safely by their side.
• Treasure hunt — cats are natural hunters and hiding treats around our homes can provide exercise and excitement. Hiding our kitties’ favourite HiLife it’s only natural Treats in different areas around our homes, such as on top of shelves and under chairs, gives our kitties a chance to put their noses to good use and a opportunity for us to get on the move.
• Enrichment — many cats love the boxes their toys and food come in, just as much as the contents inside! Scattering some catnip or our kitties’ favourite treats inside a carboard box can be a fun exercise — and you can make it even more challenging my hiding them inside the flaps of the boxes.
Tips from our HiLife friends
Border Collie and HiLife lover, Simba, and his owner, Courtney, love to keep fit by going on long walks in the great outdoors. Here are their top tips when exercising together:
1) “Keep it fun and new when walking and running outside. Regularly adapt your route and try somewhere new. I try to find places when Simba can go off the lead to have a bit of freedom and find those essential sticks!
2) “Remember that you’re in control of the pace and distance. Get out for five minutes or hour; it all counts towards keeping yours and your pup’s mind and body active. You don’t have to be smashing a personal best in running to be successfully exercising.
3) “Take treats or rewards out with you. I often take very small bite-size treats with me to keep Simba’s mind engaged and to encourage his recall. Not all dogs are used to running next to their human, or even being on the lead for a long time, so I use treats to praise him and encourage him to be by my side.
4) “Make sure you have the right equipment for you and your pup. I personally use a training lead as they’re long and they can clip around my body. This means my hands are free to wave around when I run, yet also give me the ability to quickly pull Simba up if I need to. Running belts are a useful resource too.”
Russian Blue and HiLife fan, Szaffi, and her owner Szid’s favourite activity is cat training, which helps keep both of their minds and bodies active. We chatted to Szid about why they enjoy this activity together:
1. “We love seeing Szaffi in her favourite ‘bread’ loaf position; but, as she’s an indoor kitty, we like to keep her body active and her mind engaged with training. Plus, it’s a great activity to strengthen our bond.
2. “She now knows about 10 tricks that many people only think dogs can do — including walking on a lead! Szaffi also loves chasing treats, which engages her hunting instinct.”
We’d love to see some pictures of you and your pets staying active together. Get in touch with us via our social media channels, and don’t forget to tag us.