Making sure your pet is getting enough exercise is important, especially as they age. Atrophy sets in with older pets and they lose their muscle tone, which lead to their overall skeleton becoming weaker as well. Plenty of exercise can help keep atrophy from occurring at a quick rate, as well as keep them from becoming overweight, which can take a toll on their joints. As an extra bonus for you, making sure your pets are staying fit probably also means you’ll be improving your own fitness, whether you take them for longer walks or runs or visit a dog park. Investing in pet exercise equipment can be a fun way to engage them in play activities that will keep them moving, increase agility, and burn off some energy. Female dogs also tend to be a bit more active than male dogs, so that’s something else to keep in mind. Be sure you’re not overexerting your pet — dog breeders caution that a puppy shouldn’t have more than five minutes of exercise for every month of his or her age.
The Benefits of Exercising Your Pet
As mentioned above, regularly exercising your pet can help them maintain a healthy weight, keep digestive problems under control, and help keep their joints (specifically their hip joints) from receiving too much stress. If your pet is overweight, they’ll have trouble with speed and stamina and may suffer more in hot temperatures. They may also experience increased risk of developing heart problems and even some cancers.
If your pet is staying active, it means there’s less time in his or her day to become bored or destructive. Tired of chewed up slippers or holes in your yard? Think your pet is just too hyper? It might just be because he’s not getting the right outlet for all his energy. Try putting him on an exercise regimen or socializing him with other doggie friends and see what happens!
If your pet is exercising more, chances are good your amount of exercise will also increase! After all, someone has to take Fido to the dog park or up the ante on his walks. You may find a new exercise groove going running or biking with your dog or spend some time meeting other pet owners gathered around pet exercise equipment at the dog park.
Where Can I Take My Dog to Play?
If you have a bigger back yard, you may not have to go anywhere! You can set up some pet exercise equipment right in your own yard and run your dog through his paces. If your dog likes the water and you’re close to a lake or beach, that be another great place for her to get some exercise. Or, simply taking your dog out on trails or long walks can be beneficial.
If you live in a more urban area, a doggy playground or dog run can be a great place to let your dog loose. Some dog parks might have pet exercise equipment, doggy waste stations, a canine obstacle course, or dog park agility equipment that your pet can take advantage of. Even better, he’ll get to meet other dogs and socialize. There’s nothing like other dogs to really engage in some seriously active play!
What’s Considered Good Dog Park Etiquette to Follow?
Make sure you’re keeping an eye on your dog. It’s good for everyone’s safety — even if your dog isn’t aggressive, there may be other dogs there that are and sometimes dogs can be provoked. Making sure you have a leash handy and a watchful eye can help stave off any accidents.
Also be sure to have dog waste bags with you — it’s not courteous to leave your dog’s poop lying around and many cities impose fines — as much as $750 sometimes! — if you don’t clean up after your dog.
Keeping your pet active can lead to a healthier and more contented animal, well into old age.