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8 Healthy Living Tips I’ve Learned From My Pets

I am most definitely a pet person. I’ve always had dogs and cats, and honestly, loving them is a big part of who I am. I might be an entirely different person without them in my life, and I definitely don’t think I’d have learned these eight healthy living lessons very well without them (and you know I had to share them for Fit Bottomed Pets Week!) …

Rudi dog

There’s always time for snuggles. Unless you’re having a banana. In that case, share your banana first, and THEN snuggle. (I haven’t gotten to eat a whole banana in YEARS.)

Rudi: Take time to snuggle. Rudi has always been a really loving, cuddly dog, but after she spent a week in the ICU a couple of years ago and I realized how close we came to losing her, I began to see her mid-day pleas for a cuddle session in a new light. I don’t make time to do it every day, necessarily (although I’m trying, and she definitely considers meditation a form of cuddling!), but I’ve learned I can generally carve out five minutes for a stress-busting snuggle.


Hollie gets equally thrilled about car rides, going outside, seeing the cat, waking up, going to bed and getting belly rubs.

Hollie: There is always something to be excited about. This dog wakes up in the morning just bouncing with energy, and she stays that way until she falls asleep. I want to be as excited about anything as she is about, you know, life.

trixie cat

Trixie really loves food. Your food, her food, any food. Soon, human. Soon.

Trixie: Eat with zest. Trixie is a really vocal cat, and every time we set foot in the kitchen, she talks us through whatever we’re doing. If we get out her wet food, she’s nearly beside herself — our neighbors can probably hear her. And even when she gets her regular dry food, she eats with such gusto that she makes a huge mess. Does she care? Nope. Girl loves to eat and doesn’t care who knows it.

foster kittens

Want a ton of laughs? Foster a trio of kittens. They clown around nonstop until they fall asleep.

Mac, Jellybean and Fiona: Love, nap, be fearless. We fostered three kittens late last year, and each one taught me a lesson. Mac (named because he would purr so loud all the time that the vet couldn’t always get a heartbeat) showed me the power of showing the people you love just how much you care. Every time he laid eyes on me, he’d start purring. Jellybean was all about the good naps. She’d play, play, play, but when it came time to sleep, nothing was getting between her and some shuteye. And Fiona was a great example of how being fearless can open new horizons. She could climb and scale just about any wall we put up, and loved exploring — even when that meant facing the dogs.

tebow cat

Tebow is literally the comfiest cat in the world. Here, he’s laying on a Christmas present. MY Christmas present, not his, for the record.

Tebow: Be confident. Tebow is my parents cat, and dude has swagger. He’s a big cat and he really exudes confidence. He tends to assume everyone is going to like him (and generally, they do), so he never backs down from playing with anyone, whether it’s a dog, cat or person. He treats every situation, from a car ride to a nap on the corner of the couch, like it has the potential to be a seriously good time.

nothing is perfect

All of them: No one is perfect. And, perhaps the most important lesson I’ve learned has come from all of them at various times: Nothing — and no one — is perfect. And more importantly? That’s okay. They love me when I’m at my best, and completely accept me at my worst. I could stand to do more of that myself.

What kind of lessons have you learned from your pets? —Kristen

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