January is Walk Your Pet Month
What a great way to start the year! Exercise is very important in helping your pet live a healthy and long life, and walking your dog can actually help you to meet your own fitness goals. A recent study from the University of Missouri found that people who walk with dogs are more consistent in their exercise routine than those who walk with a human — what could be a better way to burn off those holiday calories?
Benefits of exercise:
- Improves strength, fitness, flexibility and movement
- Increases energy levels
- Helps decrease stress and can help improve you and your pets mood
- Improves sleep
- Prevents boredom
- Decreases bad behavior
- Improves the bond between you and your pet
- Prevents obesity
The type and amount of exercise needed can differ greatly with breed, age and energy level. It is important to choose the right type of exercise for your pet with the help of your veterinarian. Low energy dogs like Bulldogs or dogs over seven years of age only need about 30 minutes of exercise a day and this is usually in the form of slow, short walks or swimming. Medium-energy dogs, like German shepherds or Maltese terriers, need about 2 hours of exercise a day in the form of medium-paced walks or agility. High-energy dogs like Border collies or Dalmatians need about three hours of exercise a day.
Cats too need daily exercise and setting aside 15-20 minutes a day will help keep your cat happy and healthy. Cats are nocturnal animals which means they are at their most active at night. Training them to exercise during the day will help you and your cat sleep at night. Cats enjoy exercise like stalking, pouncing, climbing and hiding.
It’s always important to exercise safely with your pet. Check with your veterinarian to choose which exercise is right for your pet.