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Posted on 04-11-2017

The Importance of Pet Exercise 

Your four-legged friend is important to you. As a member of the family, you want to make sure they have the best quality of life possible. Whether you have a cat or a dog, animals need to get outside (or inside) and get some exercise. Not sure which exercises to do? Follow our handy guide, and remember, if your pet isn’t feeling their best, bring them into a vet.

Pet Exercise in Decatur

Exercise Suggestions for Dogs

There are so many ways your dog can get some exercise. You can get involved too and burn some calories! Here are some of our suggestions.

  • Go for a walk: What dog doesn’t love leashing up and roaming the neighborhood? Depending on the size of your dog, you won’t be able to take them as far. Bigger dogs may be able to walk farther without breaking a figurative sweat, but smaller dogs cannot, as their legs aren’t long enough.
  • Jog together: Once you and Fido are walking masters, try picking up the pace a little. Go for a light jog around the block. If you have an enclosed backyard, you can jog here, too. Be careful not to break out into a full-on run. This could overexcite your dog.
  • Play fetch: The best part about fetch? This is a game you can play outdoors or indoors. Perfect for rainy or sunny days, throw a stick, toy, ball, or whatever else catches your dog’s fancy. See if your four-legged friend can catch and return the item to you. Repeat until you’re both satisfied. Remember to reward your pet.

Exercise Suggestions for Cats

Just because you don’t walk your cat on a leash means your feline friend should live a sedentary lifestyle. Here’s how to get your cat moving.

  • Build a course: Your cat may have a scratching post, long play tube, and hanging tree. Try arranging these into an obstacle course. With the incentive of a treat or other reward, get your cat to go through the whole course.
  • Play with catnip: Catnip is irresistible to cats. It can really bring out their wild side. Give your cat a decent amount. You want to avoid them becoming angry and vicious and instead encourage them to zip around the house.
  • Use a laser: If you have a pocket laser, you and your cat can have fun for hours. Just find a blank surface and start tracing the laser along the wall or floor. Your cat will think it’s something to chase and pounce on the laser again and again. Make sure you don’t aim the laser where the cat can’t get it, though.

About Fairview Hospital for Animals, Your Decatur Veterinarian

If your pet is having weight issues or other health problems, bring them to Fairview Hospital for Animals. As your Decatur veterinarian, we also serve Boody, Mount Zion, Blue Mound, and Forsyth.

Besides our vet services, we also proudly offer imaging and radiology, pet medication through our pharmacy, ophthalmology, pet dentistry, pain management, and pet dermatology. To learn more or schedule an appointment, please call 217-428-7709. 

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I visit Fairview Animal Hospital at least once a week for a few of my fur-babies to receive laser therapy and the ENTIRE staff always shows genuine concern for my babies as well as me. They are always completely honest in the care they believe my pets need and only suggest treatments that they firmly believe would help my babies comfort. I have six dogs and two cats who all have their own issues and they know them all by name, know what their problems are and cater to their individual needs. The best part of this staff, is that every single one of my babies thoroughly enjoys their visits which is most important to me.

Angela McIntire
Decatur, IL

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