Great Exercises For Dogs And Cats

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Pet owners often try many things to keep their pets happy in good health. A healthy diet and good veterinary care is key to keeping your dog or cat in the best shape possible. One thing that may get overlooked, however, is exercise.

Exercise can help your pet mentally, as well as physically. There are many options for getting your cat and dog off the couch and moving.

Toys

Toys are a great option to help get both dogs and cats moving. Cats are not going to go on a walk with your or go play at the park. Your cat may need some motivation. Toys can be left around the house for both species to encourage playtime. It is also beneficial to interact with your animals daily.

Dogs may like to play with a tug rope and cats may like to chase a small ball. Try to find toys that appeal to their natural instincts. Dogs will enjoy size appropriate balls, as well. You can often get a dog to play fetch with you. This will encourage them to run a bit.

cat with ball

Cats will play alone much of the time. Pay attention to the types of items that your cat likes to swat at and find toys that mimic these items. Cats will usually enjoy “pouncing” on things that are moving.

This comes from their prey-catching instincts. Both dogs and cats can be encouraged to chase and generally play with toys.

Get outside

These are animals, after all. They do great out in nature, in most cases. Dogs will often get themselves moving if they are given the chance to run free in a yard or dog park. Some dog parks even come equipped with agility courses to train your dog.

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If you regularly run or hike, consider taking your dog with you. The physical exertion will help them stay calm and rest better. Make sure you at least make time for daily walk around the neighborhood.

Get outside

It can be a little trickier to safely allow your cat outdoors. Although cats will love to roam free, this is not the safest option. If you have a closed in patio or sun room, this is the best option. Cats love to chase rodents and insects, so keep the area clean and free of things you do not want your cat chasing.

Rarely, a cat can be trained to use a leash. Some people go the extra mile and build an outdoor cat area allowing for fresh air and climbing activities. You may have to get a little creative, but the sights and sounds of the outdoors will help motivate your cat to get moving.

Get creative

It is a realty of modern city life that many people spend a lot of time indoors. This can often lead to a very sedentary existence for humans and pets alike. You may have to get creative to bring some daily exercise into your pet’s life. There are wheels for cats.

These are similar to the wheels you see hamsters running in. They can give your cat the option to get some of that energy out. Many cats prefer to be up and about at night so you may want to put it up at night, however. Dogs can be taught to walk on a treadmill.

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Dog on treadmill

This should only be done, however, with adequate supervision. You can use a long hallway to play fetch with your dog or leave a trail of toys for your cat. If all else fails, run around your house or apartment. Dogs and cats both may like to get in on the chase of their playful owner.

Make use of their natural instincts

In the wild, animals have to hunt for their food. Cats are naturally curious creatures, as well. You can appeal to their natural instincts by hiding treats around the house.

Dogs and cats alike will enjoy using their sense of smell to find a tasty treat. You can space them out to guarantee movement of your animals around the home. There are also many toys that are designed to hold treats that will release when the animal moves them around.

dog smells

These methods actually reward your pet for putting in the effort. This makes exercise and play something for your dog or cat to look forward to. Toys that move can also be a lot of fun. Think about purchasing toys that will move when touched, like a ball.

This type of toy can encourage movement even when you are not around to instigate playtime with your pet. They will enjoy using their natural desire to chase things with this type of toy.

Invest in some equipment or services

Cats love to climb. There are many specialty cat items that are geared towards satisfying this urge. Cat towers do not take up very much space and will provide endless entertainment for your cat.

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These can also help deter your cat from scratching other things in your house. They are well worth the money.

Small and medium dogs may like things such as tunnels and children’s play structures. Some dogs like to climb up a structure and go down the slide. These items can often be seen in doggie daycare settings. Larger dogs may enjoy learning to carry a back pack.

Dogs seem to like to have a job to do. After all, most breeds were bred to work in some way.

There are many services that will help to keep your dog busy. Many boarding centers offer day care programs. These offer playtime and socialization all in one. Sometimes the best exercise for your dog is simply playing with another dog.

While these services may not be available for cats, you might consider adopting a playmate for your cat if you work long hours away from the house.

Exercise is pertinent for long term health and mental stability. Your pet will be more relaxed, socialize better, and sleep well when they receive enough exercise. Take the time to explore the different options and find out what works best for your family.

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