I would assume that most of us know (at least in theory 😉 ) the importance of physical exercise in order to live a healthy, balanced life. In this, our furry companions aren’t so different from us and especially in a city like Beirut with a scarcity of green areas, let alone parks, many dogs remain under-exercised. While we go (sometimes drive) to a Gym, our pets hang out at home. A lack of exercise (often together with boredom) in cats and dogs can have terrible consequences. Besides obesity, under-exercised pets often show behavioral issues like destructive behavior or even aggression.
While there isn’t a specific rule, the amount of exercise your pet should be getting depends on factors such as age, medical conditions, breed and fitness levels. The best thing to do is to research online, speak to your vet and ask his or her advice. However, here are some guidelines to get you thinking along the right lines.
How much exercise does my dog need?
Puppies need free play with a focus on teaching them good manners like how to walk on a leash. Too many people wait with training until their puppy reached adolescence and is hard to handle. If your dog is a good leash-walker you’ll enjoy walks more and thus exercise him more.
Dogs between (1-7 years old) need at least a 45 minute walk daily. Frequent, consistent exercise is better than high intensity, irregular exercise which can lead to injury.
For older dogs, around a 30 minute controlled walk should be suitable. Swimming is also good for sore joints. At all ages but especially as your dog gets older (and wiser), you must listen to them and judge what they can handle.
Not only does a walk stimulate your dog physically but also mentally. Therefore let your dog smell around, even if it might be annoying that he stops at everyyyy single tree.
How much exercise does my cat need?
You will need to spend some time figuring out what your particular cat enjoys. Try lasers, cat teasers, toy mice and catnip toys. Browse all of our cat toys here.
Spend at least 20 minutes a day playing with your cat so that they don’t lose their play drive and become lazy, fat and bored. High intensity exercise like running after a toy or a laser is a great way to burn off energy.
Older cats should still be getting around 10 minutes of interactive play daily but of lower intensity like playing with a cat teaser instead of sprinting after a laser.
Helpers for giving your pet the right exercise
There are lots of great products out there that can help inspire more playtime, fun and exercise. Here are some of our favorites: