Your dog or cat needs regular exercise to remain healthy, manage weight, and release excess energy. It decreases her chances of developing numerous health problems, including diabetes, heart disease, arthritis, and digestive disorders. Unfortunately, companion animals in the United States are becoming just as sedentary and overweight as their human family members. According to a 2016 study by the Association for Pet Obesity, 58 percent of cats and 54 percent of dogs are overweight or obese.
Exercises for Dogs
If your dog is already carrying extra weight, the Association for Pet Obesity recommends walking him for a minimum of 30 minutes five times per week. Start with 10 minutes of brisk walking the first week followed by 20 minutes at a casual pace. The goal is to increase the amount of brisk walking by five minutes each week until the entire 30-minute walk is at a fast pace. After about a month, challenge yourself and your dog by upping the total walk time to 45 minutes.
Other exercises that can help your dog get enough physical activity include throwing a ball in the park, setting up an obstacle course in the backyard, and swimming. Your dog loves getting attention from you, so be sure to praise her efforts at being more active and join in the fun yourself if possible.