Healthspan February 16, 2018

Increasingly, we’re all living our lives indoors – which is not only unnatural for us, but also impacts our pets.

Most of us work, exercise, socialise and relax indoors and of course the way we live our lives affects how our pets live theirs. If you start to notice that ‘cooped-up’ feeling, it’s likely your pet has been feeling it too. Whatever the season (yes, even if it’s winter) make the extra effort to connect with the outside world. If you need a little motivation, here are just a few of the ways in which we and our pets can benefits from more time outdoors…

  1. Depending on where you live, the air quality is usually better outdoors then indoors.
  2. The outdoors gives your pet plenty of stimulation – the world is full of intriguing, fast-changing events, sensations, smells and sounds. This challenges your pet and gives them plenty of stimulation rather than being cooped up inside looking at the same old scenery.
  3. Time outdoors is an opportunity for release – there’s nothing like a run or walk along a beach, through a forest or even around the block to help them (and you) work off any restlessness or feelings of stress. If you have a house-cat, make sure you’re spending plenty of time interacting and playing with them and allow them to roam throughout the house rather than shutting them in one room.
  4. Allowing your pet outside also makes it easier for them to get their exercise and therefore also help to keep their weight under control.
  5. Sunlight is of course also a valuable source of natural vitamin D, so time outdoors helps them to get what their body needs. If you’re worried about their vitamin levels, a multivitamin can help to bridge any gaps. For house-cats, ensure they have access to a sunny spot by the window.
  6. There’s an argument that pets who are exposed to the outdoors have stronger immune systems than those kept indoors as they develop the antibodies to fight off infections. Just make sure all pets, including indoor cats, have adequate flea and worm protection as these pests can still enter your home.

Nothing beats a healthy, balanced diet to provide all the nutrients we need. But when this isn’t possible supplements can help. This article isn’t intended to replace medical advice. Please consult your healthcare professional before trying supplements or herbal medicines.

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