There are so many benefits to pet exercise, but that doesn’t mean it’s always fun. Sure, it helps to reduce behavioral problems, increase health and wellness, and build confidence, but if pet exercise isn’t fun, all parties involved can get bored. Don’t worry, everyone gets stuck. The good news is that pet exercise can be fun again, and with our fresh tips, it’s a guarantee.
Pet Exercise: First Things First
Before you change things up for your pet, we recommend a routine wellness exam. Once we’ve established that your pet’s breed, age, overall health, and lifestyle can withstand a change to the exercise routine, we’ll help you plan a new daily workout that leaves you both feeling good.
Beyond the Yard
A fenced-in yard is a fantastic component of pet care. While it helps your pet answer nature’s call, the yard doesn’t necessarily supply aerobic pet exercise that is vital to overall health.
Knowing what your pet likes is a boon to designing a pet exercise routine. Choose from activities your pet enjoys, such as swimming, hiking, fetch, tug-of-war, and jogging (with or without your inline skates or bicycle), to add to the typical recipe of daily walks to the park.
Is that Fun?
Providing opportunities for your pet to use his or her mental capacity is a wonderful way to shake up your pet exercise routine. Food puzzle toys, “hunting” for his or her own dinner around the house or yard, and a solid rotation of toys can add a lot of color to the usual grind.
Training is also a fabulous way to bridge together physical and mental exercise. Dogs especially like to feel that they have a purpose, such as hunting, herding, offering protection, and defending territory. Work slowly and start out with something like leash training (cats like it, too!), and graduate to obedience.
One approach to pet exercise is creating an agility course. Teaching your pet various ways to run the course is so rewarding and, you guessed it, fun! Watch out, though, Fluffy or Fido may just surprise you with natural skills – and your bond may very well deepen as a result of the opportunity to show off.
Relaxing for You
If you aren’t able to participate alongside your pet, don’t worry. Play fetch with tennis balls or Frisbees. Also, hide-and-seek is a great game to entice your pet to move around while looking for a favorite treat or toy.
What About Fluffy?
Cats aren’t as quick to exercise the ways that dogs do, but they enjoy tapping into their hunting skills. A single cat can benefit from a buddy, as exercise from chasing, wrestling, and general silliness is bound to occur. Other ways to increase that heart rate may involve:
- Cat towers, scratching posts, and other fun climbing structures
- Toys (try out a bunch until you know what your cat likes)
- Feather wand or “fishing” pole
- Catnip mice
- Leash training for walks outside
- Cat-friendly agility course
*Cat should be rewarded with treats after playtime, especially when using laser toys. Laser toys could get pets frustrated and they may lose interest as well as motivation to play again.
No matter what, as long as you interact with your cat, he or she will get a lot of out of your exercise suggestions.
If you have any questions or concerns about how fun pet exercise can truly be, please contact us.
Sure, it helps to reduce behavioral problems, increase health and wellness, and build confidence, but if pet exercise isn’t fun, all parties involved can get bored.