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5 Tips for Helping Your Pets Exercise

dog and cat playing in grass
Just like exercise helps you stay healthy and fit, it’s also valuable for your pet. If your beloved cat or dog is struggling with weight gain, boredom, or restlessness — or if you’re looking to prevent these issues — try some fun activities to get them moving. Before you start, be sure to consult with your veterinarian to learn what’s appropriate for your pet’s age, health condition, and individual needs.  
Exercise tips for dogs
Whether your dog is turning into a couch potato or acting a little too wound up, these exercise ideas will help you start a lively and healthy routine — and perhaps even lead to a closer bond with your canine.
Make everyday walks more interesting: A walk is the most basic form of exercise you can provide for a dog, but it doesn’t have to be boring. To make walks more adventurous, change up the route each time — your dog will love the opportunity to see and sniff new things. Try adapting to your pup’s pace, too. If he or she wants to stop and smell a patch of grass or lead the way on a tangent, follow along for a while, as long as it’s safe to do so.
Sign up for classes: A regular obedience, agility, or canine sports class is sure to help your dog stay engaged and in shape — especially if he or she is energetic and loves being around other dogs. Best of all, guiding your dog through a class will help you get some exercise as well. Start by learning what’s available in your community, and be sure to pick a class that fits your dog’s needs and temperament.
Tug, throw, and tumble: If your dog is up for it, try some old-fashioned games like fetch or tug-of-war. The American Kennel Club suggests adding a few wrinkles to fetch by having your canine run uphill or jump in the water to retrieve objects. Some dogs might prefer playing with a tug toy, although The Spruce notes that it’s wise to do a bit of training first so your pet knows who’s in charge and doesn’t get overly aggressive. Even if you don’t have any toys handy, head outside anyway — your canine will have a ball wrestling, running, and rolling around in the grass with you.
Exercise tips for cats
Cats need to stay active, too, but their independent attitudes mean you’ll need to take a creative approach toward helping them stay healthy and curious. These tips are a great place to start.
Recreate the thrill of the hunt: Many cats love to stalk and pounce on prey, and you can take advantage of this instinct to help them stay physically active and mentally stimulated. Capture your cat’s attention a few times a day with bird-like or mouse-like toys attached to a rod and a line, catnip-filled playthings, or a laser pointer. A few minutes of chasing, pouncing, clawing, biting, and batting will provide a solid workout for your feline.
Set up spaces for exploration: Encourage your cat to jump, climb, and move around by providing some intriguing spots for them to investigate. PetMD suggests setting up a few shelves and perches to give cats a higher vantage point on their surroundings and a way to look out the window. Cat trees are another easy way to prompt your feline to stay active. If you can, PetMD also recommends setting up a “catio” — a safely enclosed space that still lets your cat experience an outdoor setting.
Exercise is an ideal way to help your cat or dog stay happy and healthy. Whether you start with these tips or something even more tailored to your own pet’s needs, the benefits are sure to be significant.
This article is presented by Krause Toyota.
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