Today’s most dogs and cats are more like little couch potatoes. They are over fed and lack enough exercise. It is much easier to toss them a treat then to lace up your sneakers. Just like humans, pets need to be exercised on a daily basis.
Big or small, young or old, dogs need to exercise daily. While some breeds have special needs that have to be taken into account, and dogs do slow down as they age, they still need to take part in some form of daily physical activity. Without activity, your dog will become bored, frustrated and unhealthy. Exercise tones the muscles, helps the body and metabolic system to function properly, and engages the mind. Anyone who has had a dog that suffers from lack of physical activity and mental stimulation will tell you that they will often turn to destructive behaviors. These behaviors that often disappear once the dog is getting out every day.
With any exercise program, start slowly and work your way up. You can walk dogs 3 days a week for 30 minutes and work your way up to an hour. Depending on the breed, more athletic breeds like to run and they need more exercise time. If you can’t run yourself, consider biking next to them as they run. Or you can always hire a dog walker. You can also try a fenced in dog park. They can run aound in a new enviornment and meet new friends.
And don’t forget that mental stimulation is just as important as physical exercise. Don’t be afraid of taking new running paths with your dog, going to different dog parks in your area, or introducing new toys and games to your routine. Most importantly, spend time exercising daily, not just on the weekends, even if only for a short time. At the very least, dogs and humans alike can benefit from 30 minutes of physical activity each day. Start simple, without putting pressure on yourself or your dog, and you will find that you are both looking forward to this happy time of the day every day.
Tips for a Healthy Pet
- Make sure to feed your pet twice a day. (Unless it is a puppy, they tend to eat 3-4 meals.)
2. Make sure to feed your pet the required amount for this age, weight, and breed.
3. Make sure to read labels on pet food and educate yourself what is quality pet food.
4. Avoid giving your pets unnecessary snacks and table scraps.
5. Exercise is necessary for physical and mental health of your pet.
6. Take your pet on daily walks
7. Monitor your animal’s weight with visits to your vet if overweight.
8. Reward with love instead of food.
9. Get annual vet exams.
10. Get annual teeth cleaning.