Your Pet's Sedentary Lifestyle

Animals that perform little to no physical activity can exhibit destructive or aggressive behavior in dogs. Likewise, this lifestyle affects the development of their social skills.
Your Pet's Sedentary Lifestyle
Francisco María García

Written and verified by the lawyer Francisco María García.

Last update: 22 December, 2022

Modern life has also affected domestic animals, and a lack of physical activity is a dangerous reality in their every day lives. People who allow their pets to live a sedentary lifestyle put their physical and mental health at risk. 

Below, you can find out what a sedentary lifestyle is and what effects it has on your pet’s body.

What is a sedentary lifestyle?

A sedentary lifestyle means having an inactive lifestyle, which practically indicates a lack of physical activity. Sedentary people and/or animals that do little or no exercise, and who spend too much time sitting or lying down.

Scientific studies show that adults and children are becoming more sedentary. Young people have stopped spending their time by running, jumping and moving around. They prefer video games and TV shows. Adults are working more and spending more time sitting in front of the computer or other smart devices.

Our way of getting from one place to place to another has also become sedentary. Cars, trains, taxis, buses, subways…these are all comfortable and fast but contribute to an inactive lifestyle.

For example, think about all the exercise is necessary to ride a bike to work, obviously sedentary lifestyle is the outcome of modern transportation.

Long work days cause people to spend a lot of time sitting down and leaves very little time for exercise. After a long workday, people usually use their small amount of free time for resting and taking care of family responsibilities. However, humans aren’t the only ones who suffer from a sedentary lifestyle.

A dog sleeping

The dangerous modern life for pets

Due to people spending long days at work, their pets also spend long hours of solitude and a sedentary lifestyle. Currently, most pets do very little exercise on a daily basis. For much of their day, they are sleeping or playing with a toy to get rid of their boredom.

It’s wrong to think that sedentary lifestyles only affect humans. Domestic animals and wild species in captivity also experience the effects of an inactive lifestyle on their own bodies. Plus, the symptoms don’t take long to appear.

Symptoms of a sedentary lifestyle in your pet

One of the first visible signs of an inactive lifestyle in pets is weight gain. By not exercising, animals gain weight easily and are less involved in their daily activities. Their sedentary lifestyle also causes a loss of muscle mass and stamina, which makes their bodies weaker.

In addition, behavioral issues and destructive behaviors are more common in sedentary animals. Inactive pets may exhibit symptoms of anxiety, boredom, and stress. In some cases, this also causes an increased amount of aggression towards people and other animals.

A cat lying down on his back

The risks of your pet’s sedentary lifestyle

Obesity and sedentary lifestyles are dangers to a pet’s health. Several diseases, like diabetes, hypertension and cardiac pathologies, are more common in inactive animals. Also, overweight pets are more likely to develop joint problems.

Also, the lack of physical activity often has a negative impact on your pet’s mental health. Stress may cause obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD). Animals with this disorder and a sedentary lifestyle will have an unhealthy social life, and won’t be able to develop their cognitive, emotional and social skills.

Tips for getting rid of your pet’s sedentary lifestyle

  • Regular physical activity: It’s good for dogs to walk 3 times a day, around 30 to 40 minutes each walk. Pets that don’t go outside should have a healthy home environment in order to stay physically and mentally stimulated.
  • Balanced diet: all animals need a complete and balanced diet in order to stay active, happy and healthy. So, it’s important to take your veterinarian’s advice in regard to your pet’s diet. 
  • Preventative medicine: pets should take the correct preventative medicine in order to stay healthy. This includes having regular vet appointments every six months and staying current on vaccinations and deworming.
  • Social life: in general, it’s easier for dogs that go on regular walks to have a positive social life. However, all pets should have the opportunity to develop their emotional, cognitive and social skills. 


The contents of My Animals are written for informational purposes. They can't replace the diagnosis, advice, or treatment from a professional. In the case of any doubt, it's best to consult a trusted specialist.