The American Veterinary Medical Association designates January as Walk Your Pet Month. Despite cold weather and the temptation to cuddle up with your pet in your warm house, it’s very important for your pet to get their daily exercise. Lack of exercise may negatively effect your pet’s health. Pets who do not receive adequate exercise are highly susceptible to obesity, diseases such as diabetes, breathing issues, and numerous other health issues. These preventative health issues will not only be stressful for both you and your pet, but will also be stressful for your wallet. Not only is exercise beneficial for your pet’s physical health but it’s also critical for their mental health. Implementing a daily routine of a walk (or another type of exercise) will become a highly anticipated highlight of their day that will positively influence their health and strengthen their relationship with you. Whether you have a dog or cat there are many ways to get their daily exercise in:
A simple 10-15 minute daily walk is the perfect amount of time to exercise your dog. Taking a quick walk around the block will not only benefit your dog’s health, but it will also benefit your relationship with him as you both bond. If weather does not permit an outside walk consider walking your dog in an indoor building or taking him to an indoor dog park. If he’s not keen on going for walks play a game of fetch with a frisbee or ball! Simply playing with your dog will not only be loads of fun for both of you but also great exercise!
If you have a cat that is trained to walk on a leash, take him for a stroll! If your kitty cat is like most, and refuses to wear a harness and be walked on a leash, check out our tips for training your cat to walk on a leash. If all else fails, do not get discouraged. Instead, consider dangling some toys in front of him to get him up and moving. Scratch posts and perches are great for getting your kitty’s exercise in as well.
Check out your local community activities as well. Pet related activities may be right in your neighborhood. It’s also a great way to get out of the house and meet people who are just as in to their pets as you are! Get creative and have fun!