Find out how to work out together and stay fit with your furry best friend.
According to the Association for Pet Obesity Prevention, more than 50 percent of dogs and cats in America are either overweight or obese, but there’s no reason your pet has to become just another one of the statistics. A little exercise—along with a healthy diet—can go a long way in helping your pet stay in shape. And bonus—if you work out together, you can BOTH reap the benefits of an active life.
Here are a few quick exercises to try with your cat or dog any time you’re ready to get moving:
#1 Light Walks:
Taking a walk around the block with your leashed pet is a great way to burn calories—regardless of the species. More and more cats are learning to love life on a leash, and regular walks can help increase any pet’s metabolism. Aim for at least a half an hour outside, even if you are just circling the block a few times. Keep things casual so your pet doesn’t overexert himself, and make sure he has a comfortable leash or harness before you head out the door.
If the weather outside isn’t syncing up with your exercise routine, try taking a stroll indoors. You might not realize it, but you have a built-in exercise machine right in your home—your staircase! To put them to work, just put a leash on your pet, and take your steps for a ride. You can play fun music while you climb, or even motivate your pet with toys and a quick play session at the top and bottom. This is also a great option if you live in an apartment, and don’t have a yard where your pet can burn off those extra calories.
#3 Fetch Races:
Fetch isn’t just for Fido and Fluffy! Instead of letting your pet have all the fun, why not add little competition to the mix? First, pick a nice open area: either a fenced yard or large, spacious room indoors. Next, select your pet’s favorite toy. This is where we change the rules up. Instead of waiting for your pet to retrieve the toy, try beating them to the punch. Think of it as a race—but no one’s keeping score and everyone wins.
#4 Agility Training:
If you have a high-energy pet, or just want an extra challenge, try exploring a pet-focused sport like agility (and no, it’s not just for dogs, either). You’ll get to spend quality time training your pet (and running around yourself), and those calories will melt away while you practice speeding through the weave pole and leaping over hurdles. Just make sure you consult your vet before starting to ensure he or she is in proper health to take on the activity.
Last, but not least, it’s important to mention the part a balanced diet plays in staying fit. Just like people, your pet needs proper nutrition to stay healthy. In addition to daily exercise, make sure your pet is eating well by checking out this dog food selector or cat food selector, and be sure you’re filling the bowl with something healthy and nutritious.