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Pets Need Exercise Just Like You

By Gary Picariello

Lazy pets have a lot in common with lazy humans. Namely, our animal counterparts that don't exercise run the risk of many of the same ailments inactive humans are exposed to, including heart disease, high blood pressure and being overweight.

You and me are lucky. We can go to the gym or the pool and slowly work ourselves back into fighting shape. Our pets don't have that option. They depend on us -- their owners -- to be cognizant of their health and fitness needs.

Gonna Fly Now

It wouldn't surprise me if a pet-gym already exists. Probably in Los Angeles or New York City. But our four-legged friends don't need to go that route. Your dog doesn't need silly little tennis shoes and a monogrammed sweatsuit. What our pets need is to get up and get out. If your dog is overweight, just going for a plain ol' walk is not necessarily going to help shed the pounds. but it's a start.

The smart money is taking Fido to see your veterinarian first. The experts recommend scheduling a checkup for your pet; that way, you can ask your veterinarian how much and what type of exercise your pet needs. But walking is a start, just like it is for humans who are trying to get their potato off the couch.

The First Step

When you first went to the gym you probably didn't sit right down and start curling 100 pounds. It takes time. Pets are the same. They need to be exposed to exercise slowly; over time you'll notice that Rex can run and play for longer periods of time. And go figure: if you exercise at the same time as Lassie, then both you and your pet will benefit.


Your dog or cat will think it's playing but you'll know better. When you first start out, you might want to play with your pet for 15-20 minutes at a time. Then gradually, you can turn those play sessions into several longer sessions each week. And if you're really hardcore, you can run or briskly walk with Spot every time you take him/her out during the day. As you start exercising with your pet, keep in mind to make sure Duke has plenty of water before, during, and after exercising. Just like you, pets need plenty of water.

To learn more about your health, wellness and fitness see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Lubbock, Texas.

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