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6 Benefits of Regular Exercise

6 Benefits of Regular Exercise
Published on: January 10, 2018

It’s no surprise that regular exercise contributes to a healthier life for companion animals. However, it can be an easy thing to forget about. After a long day of work, you may not want to take your pup for a walk. Before you know it, it’s been a couple of days since your canine companion has had any real exercise. Keep in mind these six benefits of regular exercise to motivate you to get moving!

1. Regular exercise makes happier pets

A photo of a dog on a hike wearing a Ruffwear Palisades Pack in Red Currant.Your pet isn’t made for a sedentary lifestyle. Their wild ancestors were constantly on the move, and your companion animal has those same instincts. They want to discover new territories, smell new smells and mark all the trees they can! Regular exercise can improve mood and decrease feelings of depression, boredom, anxiety and stress. Plus, just like with people, exercise can increase production of endorphins which are known to produce positive feelings.

2. Helps maintain a healthy weight

Inactivity is also a factor in weight gain and obesity. As mentioned in our 5 tips for pet weight control blog post, petobesityprevention.org estimates that 59% of cats and 54% of dogs are overweight or obese in the United States. Along with a proper diet, regular exercise is an important tool for reducing those numbers and keeping our animal companions at a healthy weight.

3. Good for their muscles and bones

6 Benefits of Regular ExerciseRegular exercise plays a vital role in building and maintaining strong muscles and bones. By developing good habits when your pet is young, you’ll be able to keep them going as they age. This can help reduce the likelihood and severity of joint issues like arthritis. However, it’s never too late to start those good habits. Even if your pet is already older, building up their muscles will help support their bones and joints.

4. Increased energy levels

Regular exercise can increase energy levels. This can be particularly useful for pets with medical conditions that cause fatigue. It may seem counterintuitive to exercise your pet when they’re already tired. However, after a couple weeks of regular exercise your pet’s metabolism will kick in and their energy levels should increase. As always, talk to your vet before implementing any sudden or drastic changes in your pet’s daily activities.

5. Reduced risk of chronic diseases

A photo of a dog happily chasing a ball.Similar to people, lack of regular exercise and increased weight is a contributor to the development of chronic diseases. Diabetes, bone and joint damage, heart disease and increased blood pressure, breathing issues, decreased immune function and in increased risk of cancer are all more likely for overweight pets. By using regular exercise to maintain weight, strengthen cardiovascular health and increase muscle and joint strength, you can keep your companion healthier longer!

6. Improved brain health and memory

Regular exercise can improve brain function in addition to protecting thinking and memory skills. It promotes the flow of blood and oxygen to the brain, which can help keep your pet sharp. This is particularly important for aging pets who can start to develop memory problems and even CDS (Cognitive Dysfunction Syndrome). While it’s best to start an exercise routine as early as possible, it’s never too late!

 

If you have questions about exercise tips or useful tools, stop by and talk to a team member at your local Wag N’ Wash!