The human-animal bond is a very special one. What better way to emphasise this than through regular exercise? Owning a pet cannot just influence our happiness but also our health as it gives us cause to exercise.
The human-animal bond is a “mutually beneficial and dynamic relationship between people and animals that is influenced by behaviours that are essential to the health and well-being of both. This includes, but is not limited to, emotional, psychological and physical interactions of people, animals and the environment” (American Veterinary Medical Association)
By exercising our pets on a regular basis, we are improving both our own health as well as that of our pets. Exercising is mutually beneficial, helping both parties maintain a healthy weight, sleep better and increase energy levels, among other things.
Dogs, in particular, are fantastic workout partners. Despite this, experts estimate that a significant proportion of pets are not getting enough exercise, which could lead to them being overweight and increase their risk of developing serious health conditions, such as diabetes, arthritis and heart disease.
Sports Day is a great incentive for us to become more active and it is something that we can involve our pets in.
Some examples of the types of sports we can do with our pets include walking, cycling, skating and running. Furthermore, there are numerous exercises that could be beneficial to both parties, such as throwing toys for our pets to fetch or getting our pets to chase us
How much exercise does my pet need?
Different pets will have different requirements in terms of daily exercise, so it is important to adapt the activity to suit what is best for your pet (smaller dogs, for instance, may not require as much exercise as larger ones). Generally speaking, a dog’s exercise needs are based on age, breed, size and overall health and this should be taken into account when exercising. It is best to start out slowly, gradually increasing activity as appropriate until you reach a level of exercise that you are both comfortable with.
If you are not sure of your pet’s exercise requirements, why not bring him in to visit one of our qualified veterinarians for a health check? They will be able to advise you on a suitable diet and exercise plan for your pet based on his needs.
So don’t delay…remember that happy and healthy pets make happy and healthy owners!
Did you know that…?
Stroking and patting a pet can reduce stress levels.
Exercising your dog can lead to a reduction in behavioural problems associated with boredom, such as digging and destroying things.
Walking your dog can help him learn how to socially interact with new animals, thus helping to build confidence.