Try our exercise ideas for your pets
Exercise for your dog
We can all get bored of the same routine and our dogs are no different, so it can be a great idea to mix things up a bit. Take a look at our top tips for creating a better active lifestyle for your dog.
- Agility classes – Agility sessions are high-energy running and jumping classes which are great for burning calories, building new skills and developing confidence. Why not see if there are any groups you and your dog can join in your local area.
- Au Naturale – The best forms of exercise for dogs are those which they do naturally, like playing with other dogs and creating their own games.
- Cognitive challenges – After puppyhood we tend to stop teaching our pets new tricks but it’s important to keep their minds active. There are lots of things you can still teach your dog; like bowing on command or high fives, and if you want to teach them something a little more advanced try command by hand signals and emergency down behaviours.
- Fetch! – Fetch is a great quick and easy activity to squeeze into your busy schedule and can be just what your dog needs to stay fit and healthy.
- Let’s dance! – Teaching your dog some new moves is a great way to get them fit. Dance for dogs is choreographed movement based on obedience training but with a little more elaborate footwork. Whether your just looking for a way to keep you and your pooch fit or looking to go into competition, this is a great way to build skills and burn calories.
- Let your dog walk you! – As dog owners it’s important to regularly walk your dog, but have you ever considered letting them walk you? Have you ever wondered where your dog would take you if he had free rein to do as he pleased? It can also be an exciting walk for you, not knowing where your final destination will be.
- Nose work – Similar to tracking this takes advantage of your dog’s innate scent capabilities. Training is fairly straight forward and can begin with tasks such as finding hidden treats. As your dog’s ability to find treats gets better the tasks can be made more difficult. This is a fun game and can help build confidence and focus.
- Running with your dog – Running with your dog is a great way you can both exercise, strengthen muscle and increase stamina. But remember, it’s your dog’s outing so always stop when needed, whether it be for a quick sniff or to greet other passing dogs.
- The sport of tracking – Tracking is a competitive event for dogs and owners where a scent trail is laid (with an object at the end) hours before the event begins. Once the trail has ‘aged’ it’s time to find that object to win and reward your dog with a treat.
Exercise for your cat
It’s so much easier to keep your dog active as cats tend to be fairly independent and are more than happy pleasing themselves. As cat owners we tend not to realise the value of exercise and forget how important it really is. Take a look at our top tips for creating a better active lifestyle for your fussy cat!
- Catnip – Cats absolutely love catnip but it’s important never to give them catnip before a stressful event as they can become quiet possessive and aggressive with it.
- Cat towers – Cat towers are a great way to get your cat moving. A great way to get the most out of your cat when playing is to hide treats within the tower so they're forced to search and climb in order to get their reward.
- Fun with lasers – Sometimes it can take a lot to entertain a cat, but not with a laser pointer pen. All you do is press the button and point, a light will appear wherever the pen is pointed and your cat will try to catch it. Just be sure to give them a real toy afterwards or they’ll be frustrated and fixated on the laser and not being able to catch the light. Please do not point the laser directly into your cats eyes, as this may be harmful.
- Give your cat a wand – Flexible wand-style toys are great for exercise and will keep your cat occupied for hours. Usually they have a mouse or feather on one end so will satisfy the hunter in them.
- Hockey – Cat hockey is a great way to get your cat moving and having fun. All you need is a spare large cardboard box and a ball to create a hockey rink, your cat will love chasing the ball around and you may get a few laughs in there too.
- Let them play! – If you have more than one cat usually they love to play fight… rolling around and chasing each other round the house. This is a great way for them to keep healthy and active without thinking about it.
- Outdoor fun – Cats love the fresh air, chasing flies and meeting their friends. They love jumping fences and nosing around in other peoples gardens, so it’s always a good idea to let them outside regularly so they can have a change of scenery and explore the great outdoors.
- Sniff and search – Cats love treats so a great way to keep them moving is to hide treats all over the house. Alternatively, puzzle toys are just as affective; in order to get the treats your cat will need to play with the toy which is a great way to get them moving around.
- Toys – As cats tend to be very independent, you can often find them playing alone with a random rolled up piece of paper they’ve found so it’s a good idea to give them different types of toys to play with and as you know they don’t have to be expensive.
We love our pets and they’re an important part of our family, they're reassuring and a constant presence in our lives. Pet Insurance provides peace of mind and can help to cover the cost of unexpected vet fees when your pet needs treatment due to an accident or illness.