We Prescribe Exercise – the Natural Stress Relief for Pets
When it comes to pets and mental health –– OK, pets and physical health, too –– we prescribe exercise, the natural stress relief for pets. Yes, we all know we should exercise, but the same is true for pets. Low activity levels lead to boredom, feelings of loneliness, weight gain, and possible mental health and behavior issues for your pet (the same is true for humans). Luckily, the solution is usually simple. Get up, and go outside for a walk together. Don’t just wait and put it off or we assure you the results won’t be good.
For pets’ mental health, the #1 enemy is boredom. We’ve all seen funny videos of pet parents coming home to a giant mess while the pets (usually dogs) make a big production of looking innocent. Who chewed the couch cushions? Who ate my new shoes/the remote/the pillow? Who got into the trash? Who did this? Who, indeed. Idle paws are the devil’s workshop!
Pets that get destructive or develop behavior problems are often acting out of sheer boredom and loneliness to release stress while unconsciously causing more of it. Attention seeking behaviors like pawing, jumping, whining, and barking are also telltale signs that your pet’s mental and physical health needs to be addressed.
Think about it. Pets are often home alone for a large part of the day. Of course, now that more of us are working at home, pets are trying their best to ‘help,’ begging to get your attention or for treats while you’re trying to work. Add kids, and oh, boy–stress galore for everyone.
Feeling stressed is universal these days, and our stress can spill over to affect pets. Our faithful furry friends know our every mood, and they only want to please us, so when we’re down, they’re going to feel down, too. So, remember, healthy pet parents, make for healthy pets. Exercise relieves stress and improves mental health. Pet exercise, such as a daily walk or playtime, provides natural stress relief for pets, and people, too. The mental stimulation means pets are far more likely to stay out of trouble (and the trash can). Exercise or playtime spent with your pet is pawsitive and fun, rather than based on “no, stop that,” or “go lay down,” so everyone feels happier. Plus, you never know, you might meet some new friends along the way!
Still not sure? January is National Walk Your Pet Month, and the weather is beautiful around this time, so no excuses. Walking is good stress relief. Make it a goal – get up, grab the leash, and go on an adventure. It’s good for your heart and your pet’s heart, too. So, head outside and stretch those muscles and joints. Burn off some excess energy and fat with your pet! There’s no better stress relief than watching your pup’s eager interest in new sights, smells and sounds, and their wagging tail.
Not intended to be a substitute for professional veterinarian advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your veterinarian with any questions you may have regarding the medical condition of your pet. If you think your pet has a medical emergency, call or visit your veterinarian or your local veterinary emergency hospital immediately.