Pet Exercise Tips for Weight Management

Pet exercise is a healthy way to manage your dog or cat's weight. Obese pets are at risk for high blood pressure, heart disease and arthritis. The benefits of the pet exercise are plentiful including good balance, health, no insomnia, no depression or improved muscle tone.

Weight Maintenance vs. Pet Weight Loss

If you want to maintain your pet's weight, the exercise program should be a maintenance program. This means that your pet should spend all the energy he gets from food on different activities so as not to gain weight. Light activities are enough to maintain a healthy body weight.

If your pet is overweight, he will need to do an intensive workout, so as to spend more energy and burn fat.

Cardio workout is recommended both for maintenance and weight loss.

Stimulating Exercises

A pet needs stimulating activities in order to engage in these and not to get bored too soon. Dogs will obey you and do whatever activities you propose. Cats will be less cooperative, but you may find activities that will captivate them.

Walking is not considered as being a stimulating activity for dogs. Try brisk walking, ball throwing, fetching or play with the Frisbee. Alternatively, jog, skate or cycle together with your dog and have him follow you. Dancing to upbeat music may also engage your pet into moving.

Cats will enjoy playing with toys and the more complicated the game the better.

Swimming can also be a solution to pets with arthritis. Of course, most cats and some dogs will refuse to swim.

Pet Treadmill

For pet owners that prefer indoors activities, the pet treadmill is a good solution to manage the weight of their pet. The treadmill is entertaining both for dogs and cats. The pets may be scared of the machinery at first, but make sure you take the patience to help your pet get used to the exercises. Don't use human treadmills, because your pet may get injured.

Gradual Exercise Program

Don't expect your overweight pet to be able to perform all sorts of exercise form the first day of workout. Start with a light exercise program and work towards a more intensive exercise schedule.

You can start with short dog walks of 10 to 15 minutes and in time, speed up the pace and increase the time to 20 to 30 minutes. You will see improvement in your dog's condition and he will certainly lose some weight. Make sure not to start the workout immediately after meals. Avoid exercising in excessive heat and hydrate your dog during and after the exercise routine.

Importance of Diet for Weight Loss

Pet exercise can keep your pet's weight under control. However you may also get good results with a sensible diet. Reduce the calorie intake of your pet and he will lose some weight. You may also opt for the light versions of pet food.

However, vets recommend combining the exercise with dieting for optimal results.

Before starting an exercise program, make sure to visit the vet and evaluate your pet's health. If your pet has joint issues it will be a good idea to start a low impact workout.