Paws and Play: The Importance of Exercise for Dogs and Cats
Photo by Monica Yu from Unsplash
Owning a pet is a real joy but also requires much work. Being a pet parent means you must shoulder the responsibility of giving your pet the best life possible. It involves raising them, taking care of all their needs, training them, and enabling your pet cat or dog to live a fulfilling life.
Ensuring your pet is in good health is a major aspect of caring for them and requires regular exercise. It is integral to their physical and mental health. In other words, daily exercise is needed to improve the overall well-being of cats and dogs.
Regularly exercising their body is needed to maintain fitness and relieve your pet of excess energy they may have. You must note that pets such as cats and dogs have been domesticated and trained to live in homes over the past few centuries. There are still aspects of their identity that remain wild and the need for activity is one such area.
Benefits of Regular Exercise for Your Pet
To see just how critical exercise is for your pet, here are just a few reasons:
Fitness is key of your cat or dog’s health. Regularly moving their body and exercising their muscles improves the tone and movement of the tissues and muscles in their body. It strengthens the bones and encourages growth and development.
The recommended activity for cats and dogs generally ranges from 30 to 45 minutes of continuous exercise. Though some breeds of dogs require more activity, being outdoor dogs. To get more details on each type of breed of dog and how to improve the health of your pets, go to We Love Doodles.
Just 30 to 45 minutes of exercise can increase your pet’s lifespan by years. Exercising is essential for heart health and prevents other chronic conditions, like diabetes, in check.
Maintain a Fit Body
In terms of fitness, exercise is the primary way your pet can maintain a healthy body, along with a balanced and portion-controlled diet. Obesity among cats and dogs is at an all-time high. The Association for Pet Obesity Prevention estimates that 53% of pet dogs and 55% of pet cats are obese.
Regular movement helps burn fat and enables your pet to lose and maintain a healthy weight. Excess weight leads to multiple health complications, including cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, and joint pain. An active lifestyle helps your pet eliminate extra calories and lose weight.
Improved Mental Health
Like exercise improves mental health functioning in humans, it also does so in pets. Staying active is not just good for physiological health but also for elevating the mood. Daily exercising keeps stress levels low and reduces depression.
In addition to this, an active lifestyle produces other benefits like improved digestion, sleep patterns, and eating habits. Being able to play and move their body makes your pet happy. Exercise is especially important for pets when they are young and when they hit old age. This is because staying active is necessary for growth and development and for maintaining a healthy body. It also means that stress levels are reduced and these are high in pets when they are young and as they become elderly.
Keeps Behavior in Check
Pets behaving badly is not unusual. Particularly when they are still young and have had little training. Once trained your pet will behave well and become social. However, sometimes pets do display destructive qualities. They may pee everywhere or chew, tear, or scratch things.
Exercise and playtime are great ways to distract your cat or dog from such counterproductive activities. Give your pet a toy or just take them outside for a walk. It is only natural for them to release their pent-up energy and aggression. Exercise provides a wonderful outlet for doing so.
Better Relationship with Your Pet
Exercise for pets usually means interactive playtime or any physical activity in which you are actively involved. These exercise sessions make for excellent bonding experiences with your pet. You both get to learn more about one another and understand one another on a deeper level.
Playtime improves trust and increases the love you have for one another. Dogs and cats both like attention and that is exactly what they get when you are playing with them. There are plenty of resources available online that you can check out. Figure out the best dog exercise that your pet can do to stay healthy and happy.
Keeps you Healthy
It is a well-known fact that pet owners tend to be healthier than non-pet owners. Part of the reason is the positive impact pets have on our mental health. Love from a pet keeps us happy and lowers the levels of stress and anxiety we experience.
Owning pets is also good for physical health as well since having a pet around increases our physical activity. We are forced to move, whether it be to do things for our pets such as feeding them, bathing them, or taking them outside for their daily exercise.
It is much easier to work out when we have company and pets make for excellent workout buddies. Having pets that require daily activity motivates us to stay active as well.
Easy Ways to Maintain an Exercise Regimen
It can be hard to take time out every day so you can get your pet to meet their exercise goals. Following are some tips you can use to develop an exercise regimen:
Develop a Routine
This may sound difficult at first, however, once you get into a routine, everything will fall into place automatically. Creating a work-life balance is not easy, but your pet needs your time as well. There are few things more important than your pet’s well-being.
Set time aside every day for your pet’s playtime. You can also join in the exercise session by exercising yourself so you can make the most of the time. It is like killing two birds with a single stone.
Exercise in Breaks
If it is difficult for you to take time out for a solid exercise session during the course of the day, then you can do so in short intervals. Instead of a single 45-minute or 60-minute session, four 15-minute sessions throughout the day are enough.
Start your day with a short morning walk before work and have your pet accompany you. Dogs, especially love to go for walks. Play with them for 15 minutes after you wrap up work. You can definitely squeeze in time for activities if you manage time carefully.
Scheduling and planning ahead will allow you to manage time better. Set goals for each day and you will be motivated to achieve those goals. Be very specific about your pet’s exercise schedule so you can follow through with your plans easily.
Sweat it Out
Exercising daily has several benefits for your pet’s overall well-being. It is impossible to substitute activity and daily work out with anything else. Exercising keeps your pet in good physical and mental health and strengthens the bond the two of you share.
If you wish to prioritize your pet’s health, then regular exercise is indispensable. It is just as important as basic hygiene, good food, and a comfortable living space.
Author: M. Hassan Iqbal
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