Help your pets to help themselves...with Yoga
It's not a secret. Pets get stressed as much and as often as their owners. Often because of them. But what do we do about it? The answer, according to experts, is mostly nothing, aside from tickling the odd tummy here and there, or buying an extra large bag of pig's ears or catnip.
Speaking to Arthur Napple
It's not that we don't care, according to Arthur Napple, a leading animal psychologist, but that we do the wrong things. "Take the French with their poodles, or the Americans with.... well, with all their pets." Napple said. "Does anybody really believe that the average cat or dog, walking out of a pet beauty parlour with dyed or bleached fur, ribbons tied around its ears or painted toenails is going to feel less inclined to rip the throat out of the next person it meets than it was before it went in?"
Happy, peaceful and loving pets need fitness, good food and plenty of relaxation, Arthur Napple insists. And Yoga.
Yoga for cats and dogs
Arthur Napple says that you don't have to be a fully paid-up vegetarian tree-hugger to appreciate and benefit from Yoga. If properly trained, pets love it too. According to exhaustive research carried out by CADYA (Cats and Dogs Yoga Association), an hour of Yoga a day can significantly reduce stress levels for both cats and dogs.
It helps if the pet owner practices Yoga too, Arthur Napple told us, because then he or she can properly teach their pets, which reduces the risk of injuries. Even if your cat or dog isn't the least bit interested in Yoga, it'll probably get involved just to humour you and, let's be honest, it isn't important how you get them started if they subsequently enjoy it. And they do.
Napple told us about one cat, rather unfortunately named 'Fluffy', (pictured left) whose owners thought he was a particularly spiteful kitty. They were forever finding tortured mice or dismembered sparrows on their pillows, or having their legs used as scratching posts. They even debated having the poor feline put down when the local court awarded it an ASBO order for attacking old ladies in the street, and only took Fluffy to Yoga classes as a last resort.
Fast forward 3 months and Fluffy's tolerance levels had gone through the roof and the ASBO had been rescinded. Apparently Fluffy ran away from home shortly afterwards, something to do with being made to wear a pink collar, but at least he must have hit the road with a relaxed smile on his face. So, if your cat or dog seems to be a little stressed out, why not encourage him to take up Yoga? You won't regret it.
Well, unless you force the unfortunate creature to wear a leotard.