Fetch! Why Pets Need Play & Exercise + Tips to Get Dogs & Cats Moving

by | Read time: 3 minutes

We go to the gym, jog, do yoga and go to cycle classes to keep ourselves fit and entertained. But what about your pets? You probably wouldn’t be surprised to learn pets need exercise just like we do. If they don’t get enough physical activity, it can lead to serious health issues, just like it can in humans. But when our own schedules get busy, we often find ourselves shortening our dog’s walks or cutting out playtime with other pets. However, exercising your pet should remain a priority despite a busy to-do list.

Pet Exercises in Field with Ball Toy | Vitacost.com/Blog

Plus, your pet’s playtime can act as a great source of physical activity for you, too! Whether it’s jogging three miles with your dog or teasing your cat with a mouse on a string, these activities will get your heart pumping as well as your pets.

So, how much exercise do your pets need?

 Guidelines vary depending on the type and age of pet that you have, but there are some basic recommendations to help you stay on track. In general, dogs need thirty minutes to two hours of physical activity daily. Certain breeds, such as hunting dogs, will need closer to two hours with thirty of those minutes devoted to vigorous activity. Cats require less active time due to their naturally high metabolisms, so fifteen to thirty minutes a day is sufficient.

If your pet is not currently physically active, work on gradually easing them into exercising. Just like humans, it is possible to over-train your pet, which could lead to injury, exhaustion or extreme weight loss. For the most part,  it should be easy to monitor your pet and determine the right stopping time. Younger pets are also much more resilient than older pets, so if you have a senior, keep their activity at a moderate intensity and for shorter durations.

Adding a glucosamine supplement into your pet’s diet can also help support their joint health.

 What kind of activities should you do with your pets?

 You can help your pets get active every day in a bunch of different ways!

Take a walk
The simplest way to get active is to go on fast-paced walks or jogs, depending on their fitness level. Be on the lookout for local trails and greenways to keep it exciting.

Throw a ball
If you’ve already gotten your workout in for the day, playing fetch can be a great way to exhaust your dog without exhausting yourself! This latex ball is durable and will last for years of playing fetch.

Go for a swim
Live by the beach, lake or have a pool? See if your dog is a swimmer! You may just discover your he enjoys swimming way more than you thought he would.

Make them chase
If you are a cat owner, then grab a flashlight and watch your cat chase the light around the room. You’ll be amazed at how long this keeps their attention. Or pick up this fun interactive wire toy!

Let them scratch
To keep your cat active while you are out, buy (or build!) your own cat scratching post that will help build muscle while he climbs, as well as keep his nails in check.

However you decide to help your pet stay active, make sure that they are getting the recommended amount of activity every day to keep them healthy and strong!