We are all – pets and people alike – creatures of habit and routine. We are not only deeply accustomed to doing things a certain way at a certain time, but our levels of happiness and well being sometimes depend on carrying out personal preferences.
A pet’s attachment to their routine is pretty cut and dry. They like their meals and bathroom breaks at regular intervals, and they expect exercise or enrichment throughout any given day. But for a variety of reasons in this modern life, keeping pets active isn’t always as easy or straightforward.
It Feels Good
Exercise is famous for promoting physical health, but it definitely adds to mental health, too. Pets that move around every day are healthier and happier than those allowed to lounge about. What’s more, exercise not only contributes to a higher quality of life, but a longer lifespan, too.
Your pet prefers your company, but they also benefit from proper socialization with other pets. This may not always be feasible, but keeping pets active is usually much easier (and more fun) when other animals are involved. Dog parks, public trails, and parks are ideal places for pets to get their ya-yas out, but watch closely for signs on how to respect rules and regulations designed for public health and safety.
Good Time to Train
If you’ve reached a point that you’re both a little bored with the routine walks, jogs, or hikes, it could be the perfect moment to embrace further obedience training. Adult and senior pets are never too old to learn new things, but younger animals may show extra gusto when it comes to their desire to please (especially with some tasty incentives).
Agility training requires determination, patience, consistency, and above all, time. If you’ve ever wondered about this sport, we encourage you to research the best ways to train your pet. Pets younger than two years old may hurt themselves on some of the challenges, and it’s crucial that they understand basic commands prior to training.
But as far as keeping pets active, few things can really beat agility training!
Love or Love Handles?
A great reminder for owners committed to keeping pets active at home is to limit snacks and treats throughout the day. Your pet’s optimal nutrition dovetails with their activity levels, and can easily get out of balance. Measure meal portions exactly, and take your pet’s weight every couple of months to ensure they’re at a healthy weight.
Keeping Pets Active (a Full Time Job)
You know your pet better than anyone. You know their interests and motivations. You also know when there is even a slight departure from their normal behaviors. Please keep an eye on any shifts or changes, and schedule an appointment for a physical exam.
The bottom line is that pets not only require but deserve your unending attention and care. Keeping pets active is necessary for healthy lifestyles, but perhaps equally important is the connection and bond you share. You are each other’s best friend, in good times and bad, and we applaud you for excellent pet ownership.