We all know that it’s essential for us humans to get regular exercise. Though you may not have realized it, it’s just as crucial for your dog to maintain an active lifestyle. When they are too sedentary, our pooches can become bored, frustrated, and unhealthy. Exactly how much exercise your dog needs depends on factors such as breed, age, size, and overall health. Generally speaking, 30 minutes to 2 hours is best. Your veterinarian can give you more specific guidelines.
Let’s take a closer look at some of the top ways that exercise can benefit your dog.
Health and Fitness: Lack of activity can lead to weight gain, which can contribute to diseases such as diabetes, heart disease, joint difficulties, and other more severe problems. Your dog will do best when trim and fit. Being outdoors when taking walks, chasing a ball, or swimming is where many dogs get their best exercise. Fresh air and sunshine can help your dog maintain a healthy coat and strong bones.
Behavior: There’s an old saying that “a tired dog is a good dog.” While that may be an adage, it can be true. Boredom and restlessness can translate into destructive behavior in some dogs. Of course, the amount of activity that is appropriate for your particular dog depends on a dog’s unique needs, but with the exception of geriatric dogs, burning off energy is good for your dog.
Socialization: While exercise is the best solution for keeping your dog physically fit and in tip-top shape, but there are other benefits as well. When you get your dog out and about for different activities, they become familiar with dealing with unusual situations, new people, and new animals. Exposure to new situations helps them learn to be flexible and adjust to unfamiliar situations. This is easy to understand if you try to see things from your dog’s perspective. Vehicles, sounds, sights, and all sorts of distractions can be seen on a daily walk.
Emotional Well Being: Exercise isn’t just good for your dog’s physical health, exercise, especially outdoor exercise, can stimulate hormones that are good for your dog’s mental well-being. Add to that the reduction in stress that comes along with becoming accustomed to new sights and sounds, and you have a winning combination. If your dog is the type that likes a job, consider adding structured training.
Adding daily exercise to your dog’s routine doesn’t have to be a chore. The variety of activities you can do are limited only by your imagination. From walking to swimming to playing fetch, you are sure to be able to find something that suits both you and your dog’s personality. If you aren’t sure about your dog’s stamina, start slow. To keep things interesting, mix it up. Try various routes, parks, and activities. There is truly something for every person and every dog. So grab your dog and get moving!