Play and exercise keeps your pets respiratory and circulatory system in good health. It helps keep obesity at bay, maintains muscle definition and flexible joints. Exercise and play also releases energy, relieves boredom, and keeps your pets mind active. Exercise is especially important in elderly pets; however their abilities may vary depending on their health. Best of all, the more time you spend with your pet, the better bond you create and ultimately a more fulfilling relationship results. Ideally your pet should be played with and exercised daily.
When should I start exercising my pet?
Preferably the best time to start is when your pet is young. However, no matter your pets' age, exercising is beneficial.
Kittens- It is inadvisable to play with kittens aged less than 4 weeks. During their first month they are nursing and sleeping most of the time in order to grow. Once your kitten is at least a month old, you can start engaging her in play.
Puppies – Until week 7 or so, puppies will not respond to play, as they are learning how to move, walk and socialize. Once he is 7-8 weeks of age, you can start providing him with some simple toys to investigate and play with.
Older pets need to be started slowly on an exercise program. It is advisable to take your pet for a veterinary examination, so they can assess whether your pet is healthy and ready to begin exercising and playing. A good way of getting your pet enthusiastic about exercising is to incorporate it with play.
Watch your pet for signs
Keep an eye on your pet to make sure that she is not overexerting herself, or is in pain. If you see any signs, take a break, and if that doesn't help, stop. Take your pet to the Veterinarian if the problem doesn't stop.
Keeping your pet well fed and watered is important. Make sure there is enough water for him on any trip.
Watch for signs of overheating: panting, salivating, red gums, fast heart rate, vomiting, diarrhea and weakness. If you think your dog is overheating, stop, and try to cool her with cool water.