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Getting your Pet in Summer Ready Shape: The Importance of Pet Exercise

The Town House for Dogs & Cats asks: How Important is Pet Fitness?

The answer is.....wait for it....yes! Yes, of course pets need exercise, but it always depends. Cats for instance, not as much physical activity is needed. For dogs, much more so, but usually depends on the breed. So, we want to focus on dogs since they typically need regular exercise. Much like us humans!

Exercising is not only good for dog's physical and mental health, but it also plays a huge role in your their behavioral development. Dogs (and all pets) that aren’t given outlets to exercise or socialize, can develop destructive behaviors like chewing, digging, and hyperactivity. The best medicine is exercise!

By doing regular exercise with your pets, you are helping to make their lives better as well as your own. With that in mind, here are some top pet health tips that will help you keep your dog fit, healthy, and most importantly, happy.

The How

There are many ways you can exercise your pet. Really...and that doesn’t necessarily mean you have to leave the house and worry about putting on a mask or seeing other people or pets. There is anything from walks, to playtime - even swimming. Finding an exercise your dog or cat will like to do will depend on their temperament and your daily lifestyle habits. Before you plan anything out, ask yourself when you can dedicate time to your loved pet each day. Come up with a routine and ask for help from the rest of the family.

The Fun

Now, the best way to exercise your dog is by walking them. For some, running. You can start out slowly and build up to longer walks depending on how your dog is responding. Walking your dog is also great for their social development, as they get to interact with other dogs and people. Also, depending on your dog's age and health, running both on or off leash is an amazing way to get them what they need. If you plan on visiting a dog park, or simply taking your dog off-leash, make sure that you and your pet are in a safe environment before letting them off the lead. A dog park or large reserve is a great place for them to run freely and be stimulated by the sights and sounds. You can throw a frisbee or ball. But please note, we always recommend you check your leash laws. Here in our home town of Westport, CT, we are allowed to let dog's off-leash only in town property where dogs are allowed.

Running not your thing? There's also swimming, training exercises, fetch, tug of war, etc. Don't be afraid to get creative. What fits your lifestyle and available time each day? It's important to try to just have fun with it. Exercising in general provides many health benefits. It’s also a great opportunity to bond with your pet. For puppies or kittens, regular playtime can even serve as a way for them to trust you and become more comfortable in their new home. Don't forget the other very positive attributes of exercising with your pet!

Here at the Town House for Dogs & Cats, we pride ourselves in being the experts in all-things pets and we welcome your stories and advice. We want to create a fun, yet informative place to learn about Life with Pets! We look forward to serving you with the highest quality. Your pet deserves the best. It deserves a Town House.

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