With the weather getting warmer its a perfect time to get your pets outdoors and doing some activities. Pet parents should know what exercise their pet requires to maintain or improve their physical and mental health.

Dr. Amber Karwacki of Heart + Paw has provided information on the importance of petsercise, factors to consider, and how pet parents can join in!

Pet parents, of both cats and dogs, should know how much exercise their furry friend needs to maintain their physical and mental health. According to the Association for Pet Obesity Prevention, more than 55% of cats and dogs were classified as overweight or obese in 2018. Petsercise can decrease the risk of obesity, lengthen the lifespan, and improve the mental stimulation of both cats and dogs, as well as pet parents exercising with their pets.

Contributing factors include age and breed. Pets have the most energy when they are younger and need to exert this energy with proper physical activity. Puppies can get a case of the “zoomies”, which usually includes intense bursts of energy, like running around the house or yard, followed by exhaustion. Adult and senior pets have a lower energy level and might not be able to do the physical activities they once could. It is important for adult and senior pets to still get some much needed exercise in. Your veterinarian can recommend what is a suitable amount of physical activity for your furry best friend. A pet’s breed determines the amount of physical activity they will need based on the breed’s energy level. For example, Labradors and German Shorthaired Pointers have high energy levels and require more exercise than breeds with lower energy levels, like Bulldogs and Spaniels. Typically breeds that are larger in size need more physical activity to keep them happy and healthy. Breeds with shortened snouts such as Bulldogs and Pugs may have trouble staying oxygenated during more intense activity.

  • Walking

    Walking is great exercise for both pet parents and their furry friends. The benefits include better cardiovascular health, lower blood pressure, more energy, and improved mental health.

  • Hiking

    You can take your dog along hiking at a local park or trail, which is also a great way to train and socialize your dog. Be sure to bring lots of water and check your dog for ticks after each hike.

  • Swimming

    Most dogs enjoy the water, which makes swimming a fun activity. This can be easier on the joints of older dogs as well as long as you take extra caution in swimming with them.

  • Yoga

    An enjoyable way to destress with your pet is to practice dog or cat yoga. Animals love to stretch out after a good nap or night’s sleep. This form of petsercise is also mentally stimulating as pets become curious about what their pet parent is doing.


  • Playing

    Trigger your cat’s natural instinct to hunt by using toys that have feathers or streamers attached to them. Allow your cat to chase the toy as you quickly move it around the floor. A game of fetch with your dog is also a great way to increase movement.

  • Running

    Many pet parents enjoy running with their dog. Dogs should be gradually introduced into running and the distance. Just like a human would not run a marathon without training, pet parents need to build up their dog’s endurance slowly.

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