Exercising with your pet
Posted on February 16, 2006 under Pet Health & Safety
Posted by Pets Best on 2/16/2006 in General Articles
Pet ownership offers many rewards, one of which is participating in healthy physical fitness activities with your pet. One of the most common activities owners participate in with there pet is running and walking. Running or walking your pet is something your pet usually finds irresistible and provides exercise as well as further develops the human animal bond. Animals also benefit greatly from activities that stimulate their brain function even reducing problem behaviors. By spending quality time with your pet exercising and being involved in fulfilling activities can create a confident and well mannered canine.
…Running and walking with your pet dog is a great way to stimulate your dog with structured exercise…
Running and walking with your pet dog is a great way to stimulate your dog with structured exercise. It allows your dog the chance to get out of the house and get that much needed energy out of their system and provides an opportunity to manage you pet in a controlled fashion in a changing environment. Your pet must learn to travel at the owners pace as well as ignore outdoor distractions aiding to establish a good pet citizen. It provides your pet with an outlet for reserved energy as well as burns calories keeping you pet in good health. A proper weight is when the ribs are not visible but can easily be felt.
Stimulate your Pet
If you are unable to physically exercise alongside your pet there are plenty of other options. An average pet needs approximately thirty to forty minutes of a cardiovascular workout three or more times per week, depending on their size and fitness level. Also all pets needs daily mental stimulation, in which they feel there is a job to be accomplished and new behaviors to learn. One way to get your pet some of that much needed structured exercise is to teach your pet to retrieve. This is a low impact exercise for the owner but can be quite exhilarating for your pet. Also, you can practice working on teaching your pet to track items or people by scent. Again, low impact for the owner and is a great way to let your pet move around and stimulates the brain as well. Retrieving or tracking can also be handy when the weather is bad or if something unexpected happens to the owner limiting physical abilities. Don’t forget in addition to physical exercise pets need daily mental activities and challenges. Break up a boring pet routine by making dinner a scavenger hunt, hiding food in appropriate toys, purchasing interactive toys and scheduling monitored play dates. Pets can even be trained to be a service pet which can be especially rewarding for a disabled owner in which the pet can pick up items, open doors, and retrieve needed objects. Other options that allow a pet to obtain some much needed exercise can be sought by joining dog clubs, participating in agility classes, tracking classes or schutzhund training. These activities require regular attendance, a work out for the pet, mental challenges, and a social activity for you and your pet.
A Bored Dog
A canine companion that is not provided mental challenges and regular exercise is sure to become a problem pooch. Dogs can be extremely inventive when they are faced with boredom. Problem behaviors can be learned and established as a routine behavior when a pet has nothing else to do. Behaviors such as digging, chewing, barking, nipping, and jumping have a direct correlation with physical and mental stimulation. If your dog already has problem behaviors changing their routine and adding fun exercises can easily lessen those undesirable habits. Dogs are pack animals and need group activities with humans as well as other animals. In addition dogs were breed with a purpose that today is rarely needed. The canine still has a drive to exhibit that purpose whether it is herding sheep, killing vermin or accompanying a prison guard.
Take Precautions when Exercising Pets
There are many safety factors to consider when exercising with your pet. Always watch the temperature outside, if it is too hot your dog can easily become overheated and be headed to your local veterinarians office. Did you know dogs can’t sweat, making it harder for them to cool down? Black dogs have a tendency to dislike direct sunlight and arctic breeds can have a tough time not becoming overheated on a run on a summer day. An overheated pet can easily turn into a veterinary emergency and has taken the life of faithful friends in the past. It is also important to consider the environment you will be taking your pet into. Be aware of dangerous weeds, surfaces that are too hard on pet’s paws, fast cars, wildlife, etc. Additionally be cautious when roughhousing with a pet, most of the time rough play with people or other pets creates a pet that is extremely wound up, typically structured exercise such as a controlled leash walk is best and rough housing should be kept to a minimum. In addition you must take into account your pet’s fitness level and body condition, if your pet has a weight issue start out slow with just walking your pet for a short distance. Once your pet becomes fitter, losing unneeded weight and building muscle mass then increase the exercise level. Furthermore be cautious not to go overboard and create a stressed and anxious pet. Too tough of an exercise routine can be too harsh and too difficult of mental challenges can create frustration. Keep your pet active and having a good time at the appropriate level for that pet and make sure the pet continues to have fun and feel successful.
Always be a responsible pet owner when taking your pet to public locations. Keep your pet on a leash unless off leash trained, keep your pet off private property and always pick up any messes your pet makes. Any questions or concerns about exercising your pet should be directed to your local veterinarian and if you need help getting started with an exercise routine and daily challenges contact a local professional animal trainer. Animal trainers can also help extinguish those pesky problem behaviors.