8 Creative Ways to Work Out With Your Pet

Lots of animal owners think of walking their pets as a chore, just like making the bed. But why not use it as an opportunity to squeeze in a workout? Not only will it keep both of you in shape, but it’s also a chance for quality bonding time.

Read on for some creative ways to sweat it out with your furry friend, whether you can make it outdoors or not.

Exercises To Do With Your Dog:


Interval Walking

If you don’t have time for extended walks or runs, consider doing interval training to raise your heart rates in less time. Alternate between 1 minute of walking and 30 seconds of jogging, shuffling sideways, or running backward. Just 30 minutes will give you a decent cardio workout.

Side Shuffles

Holding the leash so your dog moves with you, squat low with your arms extended and perform a side shuffle across your yard or workout area. Shuffle back to your starting position facing the same direction, and repeat. This type of lateral movement will keep your dog engaged, and her energy might even push you to go faster!

Squat Jumps

Stand with your legs shoulder-width apart and squat down with your arms in front of you, zombie style. Hold your dog’s favorite toy in one hand and tap her on the head with it as you lower down. As you rise, lift the toy above your head and encourage her to jump up to reach it.

Portrait of a dog

Pumped-up Fetch

This twist on an old favorite will get the blood pumping for both of you. Instead of letting your dog do all the work, race your dog to retrieve her favorite toy after you toss it across the yard. Wrestle it from her grasp, and race her for it again. The more you commit, the more fun you’ll have — and the more calories you’ll burn!


Doga — yoga for you and your dog — is gaining popularity all over the country. This calm and rejuvenating workout is a great alternative to cardio sweat sessions, and it encourages harmony and camaraderie with your dog. Starting with a group class is a good idea, but if you can’t find one, online videos are also a great resource. No matter where you practice, always follow the instructions with care.

Exercises To Do With Your Cat


Kitty Curls

Sculpt your biceps while your cat jumps and stretches. Tie a feather or a cat-chaser toy to a 2 to 3 foot string, and attach the other end to one of your dumbbells. As you practice your curls, your kitty will go crazy trying to catch the toy as it bobs up and down.

Lit-up Situps

Work your abs while your cat runs off some energy. Sit facing a blank wall and hold a mini flashlight in one of your hands as you practice quick crunches or sit-ups. Your cat will love chasing the flashlight beam as it travels back and forth on the wall.

Cat Cardio

Stand about 10 feet from a blank wall, with your shoulders perpendicular to it. Hold a mini flashlight in the hand closest to the wall and start to mimic the jump rope motion with your arms and legs. As you jump, your cat will chase the light that bounces on the wall.


Be sure to check with your veterinarian before starting an exercise program. He or she can give you advice on which activities are best for your pet, and check for any health issues that may be aggravated by exercise.

Now lace up those sneakers get moving with your pet!

Additional Resources:

  • Why Is My cat So Fat?
  • Pet Obesity is More Than Just a Little Extra Weight: It’s a Dangerous Epidemic
  • Fat Cat to Svelte Feline: How to Reduce Weight in Cats
  • Should Cats Be Walked On A Leash?
  • 6 Reasons Why Healthy Cats Live Longer Lives
  • Help Rescue Animals

    Provide food and vital supplies to shelter pets at The Animal Rescue Site for free!