We all know that exercise is important for us, but we often forget how important it is for our pets.

by Dr Candice Cooper
The importance of exercise for your pet.

Here's why...

  1. Maintaining an ideal weight which prevents numerous diseases e.g. arthritis and diabetes
  2. Exercising and stimulating your pet’s brain is just as important as physical exercise to prevent boredom and frustration that can lead to behavioural problems.
  3. Playing with their best fur friends not only provides great exercise but also very necessary social interaction for dogs.
  4. Playing with your pet also strengthens your relationship and isn’t the bond with our pet what it’s all about?

How often should your pet exercise?

This is all depends on several factors such as their age, health and breed.

Puppies should get lots of time to free play that allows them to stop when they are tired. You can also use this time to teach them how to walk politely on a lead. This will exercise their brain and body.

For kittens, try a variety of toys to figure out which are their favourites. Playing with your kitten provides them great exercise.

Healthy adult dogs should get at least one 20 - 30 minute walk daily. Try to include some hills, the incline is great for building and maintaining muscle mass and a healthy heart.

Healthy adult cats should get at least 10 minutes of interactive play a day, use their favourite toy to encourage them to move around in between naps!

Exercise is still important for seniors to offset the onset of the loss of muscle mass that comes along with ageing. Older pets may get a little stiff and sore with exercise so more frequent, but shorter walks or play sessions will help prevent this while still keeping them mobile and trim.

Toys are fun and a great way to encourage your pet to get more exercise. Laser toys and cat wands are excellent at stimulating a cat’s natural instinct to stalk and hunt. This counts as exercise!

Frisbees and balls are always a winner with dogs. Remember to use pet safe toys: tennis balls are abrasive and cause the enamel of the teeth to wear down over time. Human frisbees can have sharp edges that cause gum damage.

Come visit us at Gardens Pet Clinic & Spa to see our range of toys to keep your pet healthy. Our vets are also available to answer all your questions about exercising your pet. We are passionate about prevention and helping you help your pet live their best life!

Book your consult today!

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