With warm weather on its way everyone seems to be talking about exercise recently. For those of you who love a good run that’s great, but I, myself, personally… don’t. In truth I’ve always been one to avoid physical activity when possible. In middle school I was known not to dress out for P.E. so I didn’t have to participate, and in high school I lucked out and got to take P.E. with the physics teacher who made all sports optional. And now that I’m grown I do what I need to, to stay healthy, but no more.
Many people are not physically active whether as a habit or through some situation such as health problems, a broken leg, recovering from surgery, ect. The problem is, good exercise is so important for your pet, and maintaining your pet’s health is an important part of truly pampering your pets. Giving your pet good exercise helps them maintain a proper weight, reduces stress levels, and stimulates their minds to prevent boredom (just to name a few benefits).
Side note: I should say that if it’s out of habit (like me) you might want to let your pets help you be healthier. Try out different activities, when you find the right one you’ll find that your pets are some of the best exercise partners. For me, it’s hiking. Paced shaded walks through beautiful natural scenery; I can do that, and my dogs enjoy it too.
Even though I’m not an active person I want my pets to be as happy and healthy as they can be, and I know you guys do to. So if you’re just not a physically active person, or if you have something that keeps you from being active, even temporarily, here are a few things you can do to still get your pets the exercise they need.
Take short walks and go slow
If long walks are taxing on you, or you just don’t like them, try taking more short walks. Some dogs can walk for miles, but most dogs (also cats, small mammals, and reptiles) are very happy with a ten minute walk a few times per day instead.
Toys such as puzzles and pull toys are a great way to keep your pet’s mind sharp. If you are unable to go for walks and see new places, these toys will give your pets a chance to think and get excited.
Buy play assist toys
Ok, so I don’t know if this is actually what their called, but I’m talking about tether ball here, or those automatic ball throwers, bubbles are also a great option. If you’re not able to get out an exercise with your pet, provide them with something that can play against them. No, it will never be the same as playing with you, but it’s better than nothing.
Go to a store
If the idea of the coming summer heat has you dreading the outdoors, then don’t go outside. Well, you’ll have to go outside to walk to your car, but then you can take a drive to pet friendly store and walk around inside. Walking inside will keep you comfortable, while allowing your pets to get the physical and mental exercise they need.
Set up a play date
(Not all pets are friendly with strange animals: this tip is mostly for dog parents, but if this works for your other pet than great.) Does your pet have friends? What about the pooch next door? Getting your pets together means that they will play with each other, thus taking the work off of you. This also gives your pet a chance to play their way (because I never let my dog wrestle with me as rough as he would with another dog). If your pets are very young, consider socializing them with other young pets so they’ll have lifelong friends. *Bonus you get someone to enjoy some afternoon tea with.
Whether you’re unable to stay physical, or you’re just not a very physical person I hope this gives you some ideas to keep your pets active and healthy. Let me know if you have more ideas!