The Importance of Dental Care

dental-brush-paste-kitThere are many different products on the market now that claim to clean your pet’s teeth and prevent the need for a full dental under anesthetic.   Although it might visually appear to make the teeth look healthy and certainly does make the breath smell better, the problems with these products and hand scaling while awake is they do not take care of the problems that build up under the gum lines and continue to decay the tooth and the jaw.  They also do not reach all of the surfaces of the teeth that can be reached when the animal is placed under anesthetic.

Here are a few definitions regarding dental health that you should know:

Plaque is the biofilm that accumulates on teeth, composed of mucin, food residues, desquamated epithelial cells, leukocytes, bacteria and their products including mucopolysaccarides.  In short it is the film that you feel develop on your teeth when you have eaten, but haven’t brushed.  Brushing can remove plaque before it has a chance to develop into something further.

Tartar also called calculus is the hard deposit that accumulates on the teeth – it is mineralized plaque.  Tartar is the plaque that has built up over time and has hardened.

Periodontal disease is the plaque-induced inflammation of the periodontal tissues.  Tissues adjacent to, surrounding and supporting the tooth and its roots.

Scaling is the act of using an instrument called a scaler to remove the plaque and calculus from the crowns of the teeth.   There are hand scalers and ultrasonic scalers.  Some special ultrasonic scalers also remove the plaque and calculus below the gum line.  We have one of these here in the clinic.

Polishing is the act of removing the microabrasions that occur to the teeth as they are scaled.  An additional problem with hand scaling without anesthetic is that the teeth can not be polished.  Without the polishing this microabrasions create additional surfaces for plaque and tartar to build up and deteriorate the teeth.

Anatomy of a tooth

As tartar builds up on the tooth it begins to wear down on the gingiva (gums), it essentially pushes its way along the tooth between the tooth enamel and the gingiva.    As it continues it reaches the peridonatal ligament and continues to push its way down, loosening the ligament’s hold on the tooth, resulting in a loose tooth.  As it sits against the tooth it begins to decay the enamal, rotting the tooth.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAA dental done under anesthetic when the teeth are just dirty but not beginning to decay can prevent the need to remove teeth.  However, if a tooth is loose or rotting it needs to be removed.  Keeping teeth in like this will cause further decay in the mouth; to the gums, the teeth and even the bone within the jaw.  PLUS all the bad bacteria in the mouth can also lead to other health related issues or cause existing issues to deteriorate faster.

Once the teeth are nice and clean from a dental cleaning the best option to keep them that way is regular brushing.  With some training and practice you can make cleaning your pet’s teeth an enjoyable experience.  As part of the cost of a dental we do a follow-up with you about a week or so after the surgery.  During this follow-up a veterinary technologist will check the mouth to ensure everything has healed nicely (especially if teeth have been removed) and then go over dental care including brushing and how to start.

The link below is a wonderful blog that has great x-ray imaging of the consequences of only doing scaling while the patient is awake.  You can clearly see where not only has the tooth completely deteriorated, but so has the bone in the jaw (we have included one image from the blog for you to see).

A really good read that we strongly recommend.

Vet Dentists Blog

Dangers of anesthesia free pet dental care

Meet Allie – Biggest Loser Contestant

Day One

Day One

Allie is a 3-year-old Beagle and is starting with a weight of 18.4 kg (40.5 lbs).  Her current BFI is 47.3% and her ideal weight is 12.1 kg (26.6 lbs).

When asked to describe Allie, her owner says she is super family friendly.  She also howls when she wants to be petted.  She loves stuffed toys and penguins are her favourite.  Allie also enjoys going down the kid’s slide at the park.

Allie’s owner plans to walk her more often to aid in her weight loss and says the benefits for her will be a healthy and longer lifespan.

Day One

Day One

Day One

Day One

Good luck Allie!

Watch for updates on how all the contestants are doing over the course of the Challenge.

Feel free to post comments and words of encouragement to each of them.  We will be certain to pass it along!

Enroll YOUR pet!

Meet Moka – Biggest Loser Contestant

Day One

Day One

Moka is a 10-year-old Lab X.  She is starting at a weight of 55 kg (121 lbs) and her ideal weight is 29.2 kg (64.2 lbs).  Her current BFI is 57.4%!

When asked to describe Moka her owner says, she loves attention and makes a fuss if she isn’t getting any.  She is a very loving dog.  Her favourite toy is a bungee bear, but she also likes stuffed toys that squeak.  He also says she really enjoys watching animals on TV.

Moka’s owner plans to cut out the milkbones and go for walks to help facilitate the weight loss.  When asked what benefits he feels the weight loss will have for her, he says a longer life, increased mobility and it will help her joints.

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Day One

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Day One

Good luck Moka!

Watch for updates on how all the contestants are doing over the course of the Challenge.

Feel free to post comments and words of encouragement to each of them.  We will be certain to pass it along!

Enroll YOUR pet!

Body Fat Index – what does that mean?

We have all heard of BMI (body mass index)  – even if we weren’t sure what it stood for – we know it has to do with our body weight.  It indicates what is considered to be a healthy weight based on your height and age.  In animals we use the term BFI (body fat index) to determine how over (or under) weight a pet is.  The calculations are based on weight and specific measurements across the body to determine ideal body size.

We often don’t think of our pet being overweight when we are told they need to drop about 5 lbs.  We think – 5 lbs?, that’s it? – that isn’t very much at all.  Well it is true that 5 lbs isn’t much… on a adult human body that weighs over 120 lbs.  However 5 lbs on a dog that weighs only 30 lbs is about 20% of their total body mass.  Think of that on the average adult human.  Let’s say the adult is 145 lbs, 20% is 29 lbs!  Now that seems like a fair bit, doesn’t it?

To give an even better perspective let’s take a look at our Biggest Loser Contestants.  In this chart it shows each contestants weight, ideal weight, what that equates to in terms of BFI and how much weight they need to lose to reach an ideal weight.  Ideal weight is considered to be a BFI in the 20% range (from 16-25%) in both cats and dogs.

Contestant Starting Weight Ideal Weight Current BFI Lbs to Lose
JoJo 4.3 kg / 9.5 lbs 2.4 kg / 5.3 lbs 55.0% 4.2
Poko 9.6 kg / 21.1 lbs 5.4 kg / 11.9 lbs 54.6% 9.2
Piper 8.5 kg / 18.7 lbs 4.4 kg / 9.9 lbs 57.8% 8.8
Gunner 20.2 kg / 44.4 lbs 11.4 kg/ 25 lbs 54.6% 19.4
Lucky 9.1 kg /20 lbs 5.7 kg / 12.5 lbs 47.4% 7.5
Playdoh 5.7 kg / 12.5 lbs 4.6 kg / 10.1 lbs 35.0% 2.4
Aspen 38.6 kg / 85 lbs 23.6 kg / 52 lbs 50.9% 33

Now let’s look at these BFI’s on a human adult.  This chart shows how much an average adult male would weigh if he were the same BFI percentage as the animals above and how much he would need to lose to get back to the healthy weight.

Healthy Adult Male   OverWeight  Lbs to Lose
83.5 kg / 183.7 lbs if 55% BFI then    –> 148.6 kg / 327 lbs 143.3
83.5 kg / 183.7 lbs  if 54.6% BFI then –> 147.2 kg / 323.8 lbs 140.1
83.5 kg / 183.7 lbs  if 57.8% BFI then –> 158.4 kg / 348.5 lbs 164.8
83.5 kg / 183.7 lbs  if 54.6% BFI then –> 147.2 kg / 323.8 lbs 140.1
83.5 kg / 183.7 lbs  if 47.4% BFI then –> 127 kg / 279.4 lbs 95.7
83.5 kg / 183.7 lbs  if 35% BFI then –> 102.7 kg / 226 lbs 42.3
83.5 kg / 183.7 lbs  if 50.9% BFI then –> 136.8 kg / 299.6 lbs 115.9

Let’s look at a couple cross comparisons:  Jojo is at a BFI of 55% and ideally should weigh 5.3 lbs, she needs to lose 4.2 lbs to get to her ideal weight.  The same BFI in an adult male who should ideally weigh 184 lbs, would need to lose 143 lbs to achieve that goal.  The 2.4 lbs that Playdoh needs to lose is equal to this adult male needing to lose 42.3 lbs –  and in both cases that puts this male at a BFI of 20%, which in humans is actually still quite high.  Really this male would need to lose even more weight to reach what is considered a healthy BMI comparable to the equivalent healthy BFI in your pet.

Now let’s look at some food comparisons (provided by Hill’s Pet Nutrition):  whole bar

Did you know that for a 10 kg (22 lb) dog, 1 small oatmeal cookie is the caloric equivalent of 1 hamburger or 1 entire chocolate bar for a 5’4″ person?

How about  if a 5 kg (11lb) cat ate just one 28 gram cube of cheddar cheese? That would be the same as if a 5’4″ person ate 3 1/2 hamburgers or 4 whole chocolate bars!

What about if a 5’4″ person ate 3 hamburgers or 2 whole chocolate bars? That would be the same as a 10 kg (22lb) dog eating just 1 hot dog!

burgerNow what about that 5 kg (11 lb) cat again – what if he ate 1 whole potato chip or drank an 8 ounce glass of milk?  That would be the equivalent of a 5’4″ person eating 1/2 a hamburger or 1/2  a chocolate bar for the chip or 4 1/2 hamburgers or 5 chocolate bars for that glass of milk.

It isn’t uncommon for us all to think – awe it is just a little treat.  It can’t hurt, and maybe if it only happened that rare once in a while, it wouldn’t be so bad, however, we need to remember to think of everything in terms of the lesser size our pets are compared to us.  If they are only 1/5 our size (or even less) than that treat that seems small to us, is probably really big for them.

There are certainly health risks that go along with an unhealthy weight.  As the body fat increases, so to does the risk for both cats and dogs on:

  • Shortened life expectancy
  • Diabetes
  • Reduces mobility
  • Arthritis
  • Increased physical injury
  • Respiratory disease
  • Kidney disease
  • Cancer
  • Pancreatitis

and also for cats is an increased risk for:

  • Hepatic lipidosis (Fatty liver which can lead to liver failure)
  • Bladder stones

Now you are probably wondering how you can assess your pet at home to know if they are in the healthy range or heading their way towards unhealthy.  The images (provided by Hill’s Pet Nutrition) below show how your pet looks physically and how that corresponds with each BFI value.

BFI Charts1

 Dogs Ribs Shape from Above Shape from the Side
20 Slightly prominent, easily felt, thin fat cover Well proportioned lumbar waist Abdominal tuck present
30 Slightly to not prominent, can be felt, moderate fat cover Detectable lumbar waist Slight abdominal tuck
40 Not prominent, very difficult to feel, thick fat cover. Loss of lumbar waist, broadened back Flat to bulging abdomen
50 Not prominent, extremely difficult to feel, very thick fat cover. Markedly broadened back Marked abdominal bulge
60 Not prominent, impossible to feel, extremely thick fat cover. Extremely broadened back Severe abdominal bulge
70 Unidentifiable, impossible to feel, extremely thick fat cover Extremely broadened back, bulging mid-section Very severe abdominal bulge

BFI Charts

Cats

Ribs

Abdomen Shape from Above

Shape from the Side

20 Prominent, very easy to feel Loose abdominal skin, easy to feel abdominal contents Marked hourglass Moderate to slight abdominal tuck

30

Not prominent, easy to feel Loose abdominal skin with minimum fat, easy to feel abdominal contents Slight hourglass/lumbar waist No abdominal tuck

40

Not prominent, can feel Obvious skin fold with moderate fat, easy to feel abdominal contents Lumbar waist Slight abdominal bulge

50

Not prominent, difficult to feel Heavy fat pad, difficult to feel abdominal contents Broadened back Moderate abdominal bulge

60

Not prominent, extremely difficult to impossible to feel Very heavy fat pad; indistinct from abdominal fat, impossible to feel abdominal contents Severely broadened back Severe abdominal bulge

70

Unidentifiable, impossible to feel Extremely heavy fat pad; indistinct from abdominal fat, impossible to feel abdominal contents Extremely broadened back Very severe abdominal bulge

One thing for us to remember is that our pets are certainly smaller than us and a little is really a LOT for them.  Reducing their weight even just a little towards the healthy ideal can go a long way in improving your pet’s quality of life and reducing their risk factors for certain health conditions.

If you have concerns about your pets weight, give us a call.  There are diets that are specifically designed to help your pet lose the weight without you feeling like you aren’t feeding them at all.  Many of our staff are trained nutrition counsellors and are here to assist you.

Meet Aspen – Biggest Loser Contestant

Day One

Day One

Meet Aspen, an 8-year-old Golden Retriever and the newest Biggest Loser Contestant.  Aspen is starting at a weight of 38.6 kg (85 lbs) and her ideal weight is 23.6 kg (52 lbs).

According to Aspen’s owner she is outgoing, loves people and loves to play fetch with the tennis ball (which is her favourite toy), she also loves to cuddle.  As we know animals are amazing creatures with the most amazing abilities – as Aspen’s owner can attest to.  Recently Aspen found her owner’s breast cancer!

The plan for Aspen?  Along with the diet change is to also increase her activity, spend more time playing with their other dogs.  Her owner looks forward to the benefits of the weight loss being less fatigue and a longer healthier life.  Plus her owner says, she will worry less about a possible injury from playing.

Good luck Aspen!

Day One Top View

Day One Top View

Day One Side View

Day One Side View

Watch for updates on how all the contestants are doing over the course of the Challenge.

Feel free to post comments and words of encouragement to each of them.  We will be certain to pass it along!

Enroll YOUR pet!

Protecting your Pet from the Sun

With the arrival of spring, soon to be summer, there is also the arrival of hotter days and stronger UV rays.   This means needing to be more aware of our pet’s needs as we enjoy this time of year together.   The unfortunate truth is pet’s can get sunburned and they can develop skin cancer – animals with super short coats, no coat or very thin coats are most prone to this problem.  Tips of ears, if not well furred and some noses are also in need of protection.  Animals also run the risk of heatstroke if they are unable to cool down.

You can apply sunscreen to the areas of your pet needing protection, however be very cautious – although there are some pet sunscreens on the market, be sure to read the label thoroughly, some are still toxic if the pet ingests it.  You can apply children’s or babies formula sunscreen, again with caution, prevent your pet from licking the area while it absorbs, use it sparingly and only apply in areas that are absolutely necessary.

Pets don’t sweat to cool down like we do.  Dogs pant – removing excess heat from the body and bringing in cool air – and for most dogs they sweat through the pads of their feet (although northern breeds do not).  Cats on the other hand do not pant, they only sweat through the pads of their feet to cool down and rely on their ability to move to a cooler location.  If your cat is panting this is a VERY BAD sign!  Contact us immediately.

Be sure to provide plenty of fresh water.  If you are heading out for a walk or run, take a bottle with you and a travel bowl or other dispenser that allows your dog to have a drink.  If they are spending anytime out in your yard be sure as well that they have a big dish of water that is always full.  If you have a pet that likes to knock the dish over, pick it up, or spill it in anyway, consider getting a non-tip bowl or a dish that attaches to the side of their doghouse, your house or deck so they can not dump the water out.  As long as you don’t have a dog that likes to eat rocks and is tall enough to drink from the container you can also get a large bucket and put a layer of heavier rocks in the bottom, then fill with water.  The weight will help prevent them from tipping it over or prevent the wind from blowing it over as well.

running dogs

Don’t exercise your pet during the heat of day.  Avoid heading out for that daily walk or run between the hours of 10am – 4pm.  This is the time of day when the sun and UV rays are at their strongest.  Even when heading out in the morning or evening, be cautious of how hot the day or night had been.  The asphalt could be very warm and constant contact could potentially burn the pads of pet’s feet, plus the heat emitted from the asphalt can cause your pet to become even warmer than just having the sun on their back.

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It is true that some animals enjoy basking in the sun – it is why it is our Photo Contest Theme this year, however, it is still important, especially for animals that spend any length of time outside, to have full access to shaded areas.  The more shade, the better!  If you don’t have a well shaded yard, consider building an appropriate doghouse or installing a cover or screen somewhere that allows your pet to get out of the heat of the sun.  Often dogs will lay on cool surfaces like grass, dirt or concrete when it is in the shade.  All these surfaces against their belly help to keep them cool.

Many dogs love water.  Water is not only good to ingest, it is great to lay in.  Providing your dog with a kiddie pool in a shaded area is also a great way for them to cool off.  If you don’t have a pool for them to soak in and want to cool them off with the garden hose, there are a couple things to remember – do not soak their entire body.  By soaking your dog’s back it can actually heat them further because the warmth of the sun will be drying the water causing them to be absorbing that heat.  Instead only soak your dog’s feet, belly, groin and under the limbs.  If you think of it this way – if you put a small amount of water into a kiddie pool for your dog to lay in so that when they lay down only their underside gets wet – that is exactly what you want.

SpencerBonePool1015

Ultimately when it comes to keeping your pet safe and healthy during the heat of summer, the same logic applies to their care as it does to ours – limit time in the sun during the highest heat of the day, provide plenty of water and be aware that even on windy or partly cloudy days, the sun is still just as strong.  If you have any concerns about how your pet is doing after spending time outdoors, please contact us, sunburn and dehydration can be very serious problems and heatstroke can become deadly very quickly without treatment.

To learn more on the primary care you can give, if ever needed, consider taking our Pet First Aid Course, prepare yourself with all the knowledge you need to keep your pet safe until you can contact us or get your pet in to the clinic.

Diet is only half the battle…

aikiou-interactive-dog-bowl   cat-eating-food-in-bowlWe all know what we eat is only half the battle to a healthy weight, what we do is the other half.  This same concept also holds true for our pets.  Although a reduction in the fat and calories taken in by our pets can make a BIG difference to their waistline, often it is not entirely enough.

The benefits of exercise are not just a leaner physique; just like in people exercise can increase flexibility (with proper stretching) and mobility, which are good for the joints.  Exercise is good for the heart which helps your pet live a longer life and of course it can make your pet feel better.   Exercise also helps your pet expand energy which can be beneficial to reduce unwanted behaviours at home like chewing on or scratching at the furniture or bothering the other pets.

It can seem fairly simple to exercise the dog, but what about the cat? or other pets in the household?  The following information (in blue) on exercise for dogs, cats and exotics is taken from www.healthypet.com.  We have also included some additional tips of our own.

Dogs on the run

Dogs can be great fun to exercise, because they can get you out and moving yourself. You don’t want to hit the ground running with your pooch, though. Just as with any animal–or person–you’ll want a doctor’s okay before you start your dog’s fitness routine. “Begin with a visit to the veterinarian to discuss your plans and ensure your dog has a clean bill of health,” says Dr. Jay Geasling, member and past president of the American Animal Hospital Association. “After your veterinarian gives you the go-ahead, start your dog on suitable exercise for beginners.”

Just like people who aren’t used to exercise, dogs should start off slow. Moderately paced walking and swimming are a good way to start–they let canine athletes build their cardiovascular and muscle strength without putting undue stress on their joints. A daily ten- to 15-minute walking or swimming session is a good start; you can build to an hour a day if Rover seems up to it. If, after a few months, he’s doing well and can handle long, fast walks without fatigue, he can graduate to jogging with you. Once he’s adapted to the exercise, you and your dog can run and walk to your heart’s content, if you take a few precautions:

  • Keep a close eye on your dog: watch for any unusual signs of fatigue or trouble breathing. If your pup wants to stop, let him. Dogs that overdo it can suffer strained tendons or ligaments or other orthopedic problems.
  • Don’t expect your fuzzy buddy to be a weekend warrior, even if you only get exercise on the weekends yourself. After a long week without exercise, your dog may be ready to get out and burn off energy. But because of their enthusiasm, many of the popular breeds, such as Labrador and Golden retrievers, will overdo it.
  • Safety first–keep Rover on a leash when you run. Even the best-trained dogs can run into the path of a car or a territorial animal. And if you have to run when it’s dark out, put reflectors on your dog’s collar as well as on your clothes.
  • Concrete and asphalt are tough on the paws, especially on hot days. Try to run on dirt paths or grass as much as possible. Gravel, cinders, and road salt can also irritate paws.
  • Take it easy in extreme weather. If it’s freezing cold or hot and steamy out, either keep your run short or play a little indoor fetch instead.
  • The more active your dog is, the more water he’ll need. Make sure he has plenty of fresh water before and after your run. If you’re going for a long run, take some water along for him.

If your dog is getting bored with running or walking, take heart: there are other ways to get him the exercise he needs. A 15-minute game of fetch makes for a good workout. Supervised play with other dogs is a good option too.  

If you have the time and your dog has the inclination, you could even try some specific dog sports such as agility, flyball or other breed related activities such as retrieving, nosework/tracking, carting or obedience.  If you’re interested, check our website for links to local clubs.

Another activity that can be done with dogs (especially when the weather outside isn’t co-operating) or even for cats, is to get an interactive food game where the animal has to search and work to find the food or treat within the puzzle or they have to move the toy around to get the food to come out.  Many people will put treats in these containers however you could easily put your pets meal portion in the container instead of treats.

DogCasino-blaa_2              Dog-treat-Mazes        FUN_EGG

Getting the cat off the couch

Cats can make laziness into an art form: snoozing in the afternoon sun, stretching a little before they plop down on your lap for the night. But as immobile as they seem, they still need to get up and moving on a regular basis. Cats are a bit different than dogs, however–they’re designed for short, frequent periods of intense activity, rather than longer, slower-paced exercise sessions.

There are some wonderful toys you can buy to get your cat active, including kitty trees that will let her climb to the ceiling and mechanical animals she can chase around the room. There’s no reason to reach into your wallet for toys your cat may or may not like, however, when there is endless entertainment around the house. There are a few main ways you can entice your kitty into activity:

  • Things she can bat. Anything light that moves easily across the floor can give your cat a chance to practice hitting and chasing. Balled up pantyhose and paper work well; for some reason the rings that come off of milk jug caps also seem to be irresistible. Just make sure that she’s not batting anything she could chew up or swallow.
  • Things she can chase. The end of a moving string should bring out the predator in even the most sedentary cat. Again, just make sure she doesn’t swallow the string.
  • Things she can explore. Empty boxes and paper bags may get your cat to climb in, out, and on top.
  • Things she can scratch. Scratching stretches and tones the muscles in your cat’s shoulders and back. A scratching post–or even a piece of cardboard or carpet–can keep her active without shredding your sofa.

Whatever game you play with your cat, don’t use your hand or fingers as “bait” or as the object of teasing. This teaches him that it is all right to scratch and bite your hands–a lesson you will want your cat to unlearn in the future.

The key is to find out which kind of toy is the most tempting to your cat and to use it consistently. You may have to try a lot of different activities before you find your kitty’s favorite. Some cats can even be trained to walk outside on a leash.

Exotic exercise

Yes, your pets in cages need exercise as well. Some small exotic pets, such as mice, geckos, turtles, or small birds, can get enough exercise simply moving around their cage. Larger animals, however, may lose muscle tone or become obese if they don’t get enough activity. There are a few ways to make sure your exotic gets moving:

  • In the cage. Some pocket pets and birds can get plenty of activity with toys inside their cage. The well-known hamster wheel is an excellent way for hamsters, gerbils, and rats to burn off extra energy. Also, most pet stores carry sections of plastic pipe that you can attach to your pocket pet’s cage for extra running room. Climbing ladders and hanging mirrors and bells can help keep birds active and moving around their cage.
  • Letting them out. If it can be done safely and you can watch him closely, letting your exotic pet out of the cage is an excellent way for him to stretch and move his muscles. If your pet is small enough, you can put him in a “hamster ball” and watch him roam. Some larger animals like rabbits, iguanas, and birds can safely explore your living room if you watch them carefully; be particularly watchful for rabbits, guinea pigs, and the like chewing on electrical cords.
  • Getting fresh air. Building a small, securely covered outside pen may be a good idea if you have an exotic pet. Most larger exotic animals–including rabbits, guinea pigs, hedgehogs, snakes, iguanas, and turtles–will enjoy some time in the sun and the grass, provided they are protected from predators. You’ll just need to make sure they’re always supervised and that your lawn hasn’t been treated with any chemicals.
  • Swimming. Believe it or not, swimming can be great exercise for reptiles. Many snakes and lizards are thrilled to slither or paddle around in a few inches of water. Because they carry salmonella, reptiles shouldn’t swim in a bathtub or swimming pool used by people. Instead, you can buy a children’s wading pool and keep it just for your pets’ use.
  • Making them fly. If you have an overweight bird that refuses to fly, you’ll need to coax him to walk and to move his wings. One trick to get him to flap is to hold him on your arm and move that arm up and down; he’ll move his wings to keep his balance.
  • Going for a stroll. With training, some rabbits and iguanas can actually learn to enjoy walking on a leash with a harness.

Whatever their species, animals’ need for exercise is just as vital to their health as their need for shelter, good food, and clean water. For help in designing an exercise plan for your pet, contact your veterinarian.

Essentially, if you can think it, you can probably do it, with your pet.

Just for fun we have included this very popular youtube video of a girl with her cat doing agility and other assorted tricks.  Think maybe you can do these with your cat? or maybe with the dog?  Check out other videos from Suki’s owner to see how some of these things were taught.