Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Exercise---It's Great For You and Great For Your Pet

Exercising may be one of the best ways for you and your pet to feel better!  When our pets don't feel well, we have a natural inclination to focus on medication, food and supplements but we forget how important exercise is for your pet's general well being.  Exercise can help with mobility, depression and circulation.  For example, I often talk to clients whose dogs have arthritis and because their dog is "slowing down", they have stopped walking them.  That is the worst thing you can do.  Exercise improves blood flow, circulation throughout your body and improves your immune function.  For example, pet owners with tiny pets may often treat them like "pocket pets" and carry them around with them everywhere they go.   One of the most common ailments of these "pocket dogs" is that they are constipated, develop knee problems and other health conditions as a result of lack of exercise.  They may go everywhere but being carried is not the same as walking on their own.

Walking and exercising is good for you too.  Sometimes when you are feeling down, the very best thing to do is to take a walk and "clear your head".   Walking can increase blood flow to the brain and overall, just get your body feeling better overall..  Being sedentary decreases blood flow to all parts of your body which further weakens you.  It is the same for your pets.  If you have a diabetic pet, for example, try to find ways to keep them moving.  Exercising can lower blood sugar levels and help reduce the amount of medication your pet needs.  Cats with diabetes can benefit from playing with a laser toy or by putting food bowls at higher places so they are challenged to move around.

No matter what stage of life, exercise is good for you and your pets.  So....with the nice weather here, please make an effort to help your self and your pets by exercising every day and making it a priority!