How many times have you been told exercise is good for your health. As human beings, our bodies are designed to move; it is something that we need to do in order to stay healthy and happy. There is no other difference with any other animal; not even with your dog. So no matter what age, size, or breed your dog is- he needs regular exercise. Also, a tired dog is way better than a well-behaved and calm dog. So as a dog parent, it is your duty to make sure that your dog gets sufficient exercise.
Why do dogs need exercise?
Obesity has become one of the most common health concerns for dogs. The dog’s ideal weight varies according to their breed; hence your first step is to take your dog to your veterinarian. The vet will tell you what should be the ideal weight for your dog. This will help you make adjustments to your pet’s diet, exercise, and treats. Exercise not only helps in curbing obesity but also has some incredible health benefits such as an increase in the life span of the dogs. Also, if your pup is growing then it is also great for his mental health. It makes your dog confident enough to explore the new environment.
How much exercise does your dog need?
In comparison to the adult dog, puppies have more energy; hence they require more exercise but in short bursts like zoomies. The symptoms of zoomies include madly pacing up, down, and running across the house and then curling up on your lap or in a puppy pile. Therefore it is best to take your pup for play and for a walk throughout the day as your time allows. Going for a half an hour or hour-long walk can be very hard for your puppy as your pup is in a developing stage. Also, every dog is different and you will learn about their requirements by spending more time with him.
Adult dog and senior dog
How much activity is required by adult dogs is solely based on their breeds. If your dog breed is Labrador, German shepherd dog, or Terrier then he will require more exercise, unlike Bulldogs, and pug as they are low-energy breeds. Also, if your adult dog has respiratory or heart conditions then it is best to ask your vet about an ideal exercise that is great for their health.
If your dog is senior then you might take them for a walk and avoid running as they might not have that energy to run. Also, you know your dog best; hence observe how much exercise your dog can handle.
How to exercise your dog?
- Walking: Taking your dog for a walk around a block can be a great start. Also, it is great for those dog breeds with low energy.
- Fetch: This is a very fun dog exercise. Shake your dog by him/her by making him or run in an inclined area or water. Alter between ball and Frisbie or other dog toys to keep him on his toes.
- Dog exercise pen: This could be great for indoor exercise for your dog as it gives them ample space to play and you can also be sure where your dog is and with what they are playing. You can also include dog exercise equipment.
- Dog park: Dogs parks are properly fenced-in, outdoor grounds that are solely designated for the dogs so that they can play off-leash. Although it is best to go there solo so that you can decide whether your dog is comfortable there or not.
- Hide and seek: This could be a great dog exercise indoors as it will give your dog mental stimulation and also help them in moving.
Here are some important benefits of exercise for dogs
1. Reverse aging
With age, your pup will lose muscle mass which can lead to various injuries. It also lowers the chances of recovering. Regular exercise along with a home-cooked healthy diet helps them in maintaining lean muscles and keeps them fit. If your dog doesn’t like exercise start with 15 to 20 minutes and then increase the duration.
2. Keep them fit
When coupled with healthy homemade food, exercise will help them in shedding that extra weight off from your pooch. It will also keep them fit as obesity can lead to various medical conditions in your dogs such as joint pain or respiratory ailments. Also, if your pet is overweight then it would be best to start with a gentle walk instead of running.
2. It wards off anxiety
Regular exercise decreases anxiety in your dog as it creates mental stimulation for your dog. If your dog is not getting enough exercise, it can lead to attention-seeking behavior and excess chewing. Regular exercise wards off these problems and keep your pup happy.
3. It keeps depression at bay
Like humans, depression can also hit your dog, especially when they lose their companion or with a change in environment. Exercise could be of great help; take them for a walk and spend some time with them. Spend time with them and keep them busy with toys, fetch, and other social activities.
4. It removes toxins
Regular exercise help in eliminating toxins and metabolic byproducts from the dog’s body by keeping their blood and lymphatic circulation healthy. A sedentary lifestyle can choke this system by halting the process of removing toxins. Hence it is best to engage your dog in exercising.
5. Strong bones
Age and weight-appropriate exercise ensure that your pet’s joints stay healthy. Not only does maintaining a healthy weight take off the pressure from the joints, but it also keeps them lubricated. Exercise keeps the supporting muscles around the joints healthy, which in turn keeps their joints healthy. However, it would be great to slowly increase your dog’s activity level. Also, avoid taking them out in the afternoon as it can lead to excess heat.
6. It strengthens your bond and makes them obedient
If you want your pup to listen to you and sit with enthusiasm when you call him, then you should include exercise. Playing and spending time with your pup and teaching your pup new activities will build your bond. It will also make them obedient to you.
If your dog is obese or you have a senior, it can be a task to make them exercise. Hence it is best to start slow and then include new games. Take them for a short walk and let them set the pace and look out for any sign of exhaustion such as limping, heavy panting, or lying down. If you see these signs stop and give them a break, it will encourage them to go for exercising. Also, it will help in creating a bond with your dog and keep them happy.
Mrs. Richa Khurana has completed her MBA in Marketing from IBS, Pune, Post Graduate Diploma in Business Journalism & Corporate Communication from Delhi University, and her BBA from IP University. Beyond her Read more