Does Your Pet Need more Exercise?

Pets, just like people need to stay fit and active. Pets that aren’t fit or active develop health problems, just like people who don’t exercise. With people it is fairly easy to tell when they are not getting enough exercise. Well, animals are strangely mute on the subject so we just have to be more aware of their behavior and habits. Here are three things that indicate that your pet is in need of more exercise.

lazy dog walking with a car

Weight gain/overweight

If your pet seems to be a bit more portly than the other dogs in the neighborhood, then chances are that he is not getting enough exercise. This means that you will have to work on helping him work out. Evening walks are a great way to introduce gentle, yet consistent activity into a dog’s life. Unlike people, most dogs like to go out walking so you should have no trouble getting your pet out the door. If there has been little physical activity for several months or years don’t overdo the exercise.

Your pet won’t be able to walk miles on the first night; build up their strength and endurance so that over time they can join the family on a hike. Getting over weight cats to exercise is more of a challenge. They do make cat harnesses and leashes, but I’ve never owned a cat that enjoyed being attached to a leash. To get your cat to exercise more, you will need to encourage more play time with string, laser pointers, wands with feathers at the end and other tempting items. Getting your cat to play and chase these things will be good exercise and great entertainment.

Bad/destructive behavior –

If have noticed that your pet is chewing on or scratching up the furniture or just seems to be moody then exercise might be needed. A pet that starts acting out for no apparent reason or becomes destructive when they previously weren’t may be bored and restless.

Many dog and cat breeds are naturally energetic and when they do not have the opportunity to run off that energy they can become destructive and bothersome. Some dogs in the terrier family are considered high energy and require frequent exercise so that they won’t get bored and destructive. Giving animals exercise provides them with a healthy and safe way to express all that energy they have bundled inside.

Shortness of breath –

Does your pet start panting after minimal physical activity or while they are simply sitting down? This may be a sign that your pet is in need of more exercise. Although, shortness of breath can be caused by other problems, so you should consult your vet before you take any drastic steps. If you pet is extremely overweight and short of breath, then lack of exercise and over eating are the most likely causes. For a pet this out of shape you should introduce subtle activity to rebuild their muscles and then increase the activity as they get stronger. Panting after a good walk or run is normal…panting when they walk from the living room to the other side of the house is not normal.

About the Author: Lisa Brennan is the owner of Boston Felines & Fidos, a dog walking service in Boston.  She understands the importance of a healthy exercise regimen for pets, and works directly with owners to meet the needs of their dogs and cats. In addition to dog walking, her company also offers pet sitting services in the Boston area.



Contributing Author

This post was written by contributing author at Hive Health Media. If you would like to write for us about health, fitness, or blogging topics, click here.

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