How active should my pet be?


Pets, by nature, are social creatures and they enjoy staying both physically and mentally active as much as we pet parents do.  By providing opportunities for them to be and stay active, we help ensure they're happy and healthy for as long as possible.

Physical activity needs are different for each pet. However, if your pet is in good health, with no illnesses or injury, they should go on regular leashed walks, jaunts in the fenced yard, to activity centers and courses, or to a fenced park where they can socialize with other animals.

Leash walks aren't just for dogs!  Many cats really enjoy going out with their pet parent to experience their environment and appreciate the safety of being on a leash. True story - I used to take both my cats to walk on the beach daily. We got some strange looks from other beach-goers, but the cats loved it! I think they felt like adventurers! Cats can also get activity by chasing a laser beam through the house, or by playing with any one of a number of toys in a safe environment. If you're in an apartment or condo, consider a "cat condo" that provides them with different levels to climb, scratch, hide and observe their world.

Keeping your pet mentally active can be more of a challenge, but there are some great activities you can engage your pet in.  From food and treat puzzles; games of hide and seek; training and obedience classes and even teaching them (OK, admittedly it's easier to train a dog) to do a household chore or two. My daughter has taught her German Shepherd that one of his "jobs" is to carry their water when they go for walks.  When he's leashed up, he immediately trots to the refrigerator and pulls on a rope to open it and removes their water thermoses. He carries them in a backpack during their walk. 

Make it fun and give them both purpose and reward for staying active!


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