This summer, thousands of men and women will forgo high calorie foods and hit the gym in hopes of looking slim in a swimsuit. But fitness isn’t just for humans; pet owners should also make it a priority to keep their beloved furry friends in shape all year long.
Jog a Dog
If your idea of a great workout is a run, jog, or walk on your favorite treadmill, then get your pooch grooving right next to you with Jog a Dog, a treadmill designed especially for canines. The machine, which comes in three different sizes for small, medium, and large dogs, gives your pet the opportunity to exercise at a pace you set. $1,095-$1,825 depending on the size and model you choose; to order call 1.800.756.4364 or visit: www.jogadog.com
If busy days at the office take away from quality time with your pooch, have someone else do the work for you. Running Paws, a New York City-based fitness company that caters to dogs are the “dog fitness specialists” that will take your beloved pet off your hands for 30 or 45 minutes a day for private fitness sessions. Running Paws serves many neighborhoods in New York City; five private sessions per week cost $130; contact: 212.818.0474. Visit: www.runningpaws.com
Remote Control Ball Fetch Machine
When you’ve already hit the gym but your dog still needs a great workout, set up a product that gives your pet interactive exercise while you relax and stay seated. The GoDogGo! Remote Control Ball Fetch Machine automatically launches tennis balls 15-30 feet away so your pet can get the proper exercise he/she needs anytime. You set the time intervals ahead of time or use the remote control for a game of fetch. $149.95. Visit: www.buygodoggo.com
Launch a Ball
When your dog needs exercise but you don’t want to get messy, reach for Launch a Ball by Kyjen. Two pieces snap together to produce a product that will launch a tennis ball when you press the button – you’ll never work hard, but your pet will! $8.99. Visit: www.dogtoys.com
Busy Buddy Football
Bring a football to the beach that tastes as good as it throws for your favorite pooch; the Busy Buddy Football by Premier Dog Supply, which comes in small, medium, and large sizes and two chew strengths, dispenses treats (try a healthy favorite) when your dog chews the toy. Both of you will enjoy hours of fun exercise and your pet will receive essential nutrients in the process,
$6.99-$15.99. Visit: www.premier.com
The next time you hop on your bike to tone up and burn calories, don’t leave your dog at home. Your pet can run and stay fit alongside you as you bike across all terrains. Just attach a special leash that hooks up to the frame of your bicycle.
The Walkydog, $39.99.
For technologically savvy cats (and owners), the Sharper Image offers Feline Frolic!, a remote controlled cat exercise toy. You choose the fast, frenzied movements of a small toy mouse that will give your feline friend a workout to remember. $19.95.
3D Bark ‘n Boots by Ruffwear
Boots are made for walking—and your canine friend deserves a pair of specially crafted boots so he/she can walk alongside you in all weather and even on the bumpiest of roads. 3D Bark ‘n Boots by Ruffwear will protect your dog from the elements and keep them warm and comfortable while you explore the great outdoors together. Sizes extra small to extra-extra
large, $38. Visit: www.ruffwear.com
Catfisher Rod and Reel
Teach your cat the art of fishing without leaving home! Catfisher Rod and Reel allows your pet to cast his/her own reel and fish for a catnip scented mouse “lure.” $24.99.
Buddy Glow Ball
It’s easy to give you and your dog the workout you both need even when dusk is quickly approaching. Try the Buddy Glow Ball by Sun Pet; after quickly charging in any light, this durable but chewable toy will stay illuminated for 45-60 minutes and provide plenty of after-hours activity that you both can enjoy. 2 and 3 inch sizes, $6.99. Visit: www.petsmart.com
K-9 Float Coat
Lazy summer days were made for swimming – and when you bring your dog along, it’s a great source of exercise for both of you. Be sure to equip your pet with the finest in canine life vests to keep him/her elevated and able to splash around all day in deep and shallow water. Go with the K-9 Float Coat by Ruff Wear; sizes extra-extra small to extra large, $49.95-$69.95.
Ruffin It Dog Exercise Set
If what your pet needs is motivation to live healthily, treat him/her to a gift that will really inspire fitness—the Ruffin It Dog Exercise Set. Your dog will receive a brand new, extra durable leash and collar for running and walking, a special bone to promote healthy teeth, and a flying saucer and tug toy for hours of active fun. An added bonus is a “No bones about it” print bandanna, sure to keep your pampered pet determined to stay in shape. Large set, $32.95. Visit: www.shoebuy.com
Tons of colorful fun and fitness can await you and your pooch—try Fitness Fling by Petstages. The durable yet soft toy is great for games of lively fetch that will keep both of you in tip-top shape.
Dog Agility Starter Kit
If you have plenty of open space and a dog with a sense of adventure, try the Dog Agility Starter Kit by Kyjen. The kit includes weave poles, a high jump, and an open tunnel as well as other essential items to keep your pet fit, well-trained, and always excited to play outdoors. $59.99. Visit: www.dogtoys.com