Dr. Julie Damron

3 minutes reading time (585 words)

Make spending more time with your pet your new year’s resolution

No matter what type of companion that you have, canine, feline, or other; he or she can only benefit from time spent together, and so can you. It has been known for several years that interaction with animals can help to lower blood pressure, decrease stress, decrease cholesterol, strengthen immunity, decrease loneliness, provide support during difficult times, and are a source of unconditional love. Your buddy’s quality of life will also improve from the interaction.

There are many activities that you can participate in with your cherished companion with little to know stress on your wallet.

Take a walk with your canine. This exercise can help both of you be fit in the New Year. Some felines also enjoy walking on a leash or with a harness. Start out with a short distance of a half of a block, and work up from their. If your buddy is over the age of 5, make sure he or she is in good physical health before doing this. For those that are more athletic, you may consider running or biking with your dog.

Enjoy one of our local dog parks. Barkleyville is located on 5505 Feather River Drive just north of March lane. Michael Faklis Park is located off of Trinity Parkway at 5250 Cosumnes Drive. P.E. Weston Park is located at EWS Woods Blvd and Ishi Goto Street in Westin Ranch. These facilities are open from sunrise to sunset and let your buddy play off leash with other dogs. People often go at specific times to meet up with friends.

If you are not able to walk or go to the dog park, playing fetch or Frisbee with your dog can still provide a great workout, as well as give quality time together

Many felines enjoy playing with a laser light, ball on a string, or other toy. The physical activity is great for them, and will improve your bond. Set up a climbing post for your cat that is covered with carpet. This will give him or her an area to hang out at, scratch nails on, and also explore.

Exercise also decreases boredom, and can help to prevent undesirable behaviors such as digging in the yard, or chewing on the furniture or other unwanted items.

Brushing your canine or feline is a way to connect. It also can help you identify skin problems such as lumps, wounds, dandruff, parasites, etc. It can be relaxing for your pet, similar to you receiving a massage.

If you allow your dogs or cats on the furniture, cuddling on the sofa or in bed can provide good interaction. You can watch television, read, or enjoy music, a fire, or a nap together.

Taking a car ride or a trip together can also be wonderful. May of our clients enjoy taking their dogs to the beach. The bay area has several off leash dog parks and beaches for your canine to frolic on. I have written previous columns on both Carmel and San Francisco. To find dog friendly accommodations, check out www.bringfido.com

The more time you spend with your canine or feline, the more aware you will be of their health status. You are more likely to catch subtle changes in weight, appetite, energy level, etc. Identifying health problems in the early stages leads to better outcomes.

I encourage all of you to take and share pictures of your cherished companions; and participate in activities together that are not centered around food. Both of you will benefit from it.

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Sunday, 18 November 2018