Downtown Springfield Association
Miguel, left, poses with his friends at doggie daycare
Guest Posts

Downtowner’s guide to hilarious pet exercises!

August 27, 2020

What’s up downtown Springfield! Remember us? Jeana, the stubborn redhead living and cavorting downtown for the last 13 years? And Dr. Skinner, the veterinarian who loves crazy people, crazy pets, and crazy ideas? We are back to our blog after the dust has settled on COVID.

Spring Valley Veterinary Hospital is the Downtown Springfield Association’s Pet Partner and our mission is to educate and enrich the lives of people and pets who love and/or live Downtown! Jeana decided to, in Dr. Skinner’s words, “be a loser and move away from Springfield” to Juneau, Alaska. I (Jeana) may be far, far away right now, but I have an ongoing love for Springfield and a passion for pets, so I’m still excited about collaborating with the Spring Valley team to bring Downtown as much positive pet power as possible!

Our last blog was all about poo and why you shouldn’t leave it on the ground. Here is just one more reason to pick up your dog’s poo: DOGS ARE BEING BANNED FROM PARKS. Here in Juneau (which is a VERY dog-friendly city), the Parks & Recreation Department will temporarily shut down the parks and grassy areas they maintain to dogs if excessive poop becomes a problem. So, can we make a pact to just pick up your dog’s doo so that this doesn’t happen in SGF, too?

Okay, enough about poo for now. A common question from pet owners we get is “What should I do for exercising my dog or cat in those hot summer months or frigid winter months when it’s harder to get out for walks?”

Here are a few suggestions (some involve bringing out your inner child):

  • Shorter, more frequent walks. Try doing a few 15-minute walks throughout the day (if possible). This will save your pupper’s paws on that hot pavement!
  • Laser lights are divine for indoor exercise and entertainment for both dogs and cats.
  • Indoor obstacle courses can be fun for all! Setting up water bottles they have to weave around, tin foil or wax paper they have to step on or go around, and chairs they have to go under can stave off the boredom of a day too hot, cold, or wet to exercise.
  • Dancing lessons. Yup, recreating Dirty Dancing’s lift scene can be great fun. My kitten, Leo Puddin Pop Skinner, loves dancing and circle turning to my swinging keys. He gets dizzy and will fall over sometimes!
  • Hide and Seek! Hide yourself, a toy, or a treat and then watch the fun. Start by hiding the toy or treat then get really excited and start searching in all sorts of places. This will surely pique your dog’s interest! If you hide yourself be prepared to die laughing and have someone videotape it.
  • Indoor yoga can also be hilarious with your dog and cat too! Most dogs will naturally join in, but a few high-valued treat incentives will make the pups and cats crawl around you as you strike poses and train them to be patient for you to finish a pose before their rewards. Try it!
  • During the colder months, have wipes ready after walking your dog through snow, ice, and sidewalk salt. Wiping their paws off will decrease your chances of drying out their paw pads which causes cracking. Booties can also be purchased and have become very comfortable for hot and cold weather.
  • Look into doggie daycare, like Happy Tails Doggie Daycare & Boarding. Before my pup Miguel went to Happy Tails, I (Jeana) was skeptical about the whole thing. But watching my timid, scared little boy come out of his shell because he gets to play with his friends all day while his dog-dad and I worked was the best thing I could have ever done for him! Check out how much fun he’s having at Happy Tails in the photo above!

Until next time, Downtown!


Jeana & Dr. Skinner