How Much Exercise Does My Dog Need?
The right amount of exercise in dogs have raised a lot of discussions in dog forums. Dog owners have varied opinions when it comes to the amount of activity that each dog needs. You already know that there are different breeds of dogs, meaning that each breed has its need. Exercising keeps your dog healthier, just like individual exercising works. Lack of exercise in dogs can lead to health complications like obesity or various behavior problems. Mixed breeds have made this contentious topic even harder, but there’s no need to worry. This article will provide a detailed guideline to help you determine how much exercise your dog needs.
How much exercise is enough exercise for my dog?
Your dog needs more exercise than you probably think. Apart from being overweight, your dog will experience behavioral problems, heart diseases, and diabetes. Funny, right? Most people assume that obesity is only a human condition. Dogs are so much like us and the sooner you realize this, the better. Under exercising dogs makes them dull, frustrated and unhappy too which results in destructive behavioral problems like unnecessary barking, biting and chewing.
- Know your dog – as mentioned, exercise needs are dependent on the breed and energy level of your dog. Some breeds have special needs that need extra attention. Genetic limitations also influence the extent or severity of exercising needs. Short-nosed breeds should avoid hard exercises as this will tax their breathing. Narrow-bodied and deep chested breeds should not be subjected to workouts just after meals to avoid bloating and ligament injuries. Some breeds have high endurance and can run for long distances.
- Age of your dog – a puppy needs more care and less strenuous exercises than a full-grown dog as they are still growing. A short leisurely stroll with other puppies or a calmer older dog will be suitable. Big dogs, however, require more vigorous exercises as they have more options when it comes to physical workouts. Aging dogs are less flexible and tire more quickly than younger ones. Ignoring them is not an option. Bonding is still needed to keep them happy and fit physically. They, however, require less physical exercises and more mental stimulation.
- Overall health – dogs with chronic illnesses or dogs with special needs will require less vigorous activities as opposed to healthy dogs.
On average, veterinarians and animal behaviorists recommend an hour daily exercise to maintain fitness. Dog exercising does not just involve throwing a ball around or long distance running. Come up with a dog appropriate physical workout plan coupled with social and mental simulation. The secret is always starting slow and working your way up, no need to rush. Always perform warm-ups before exercises and allow cool-down time after a session. Exercises tone your dog’s muscles, engages their mind and help the body and metabolic system to function well.
Why exercising is mutually beneficial to you and your dog?
When you take your dog outside for a morning run, you are involved which will help you maintain fitness. Burning calories limit the risk of getting diabetes and heart-related complications. Don’t limit yourself only to outdoor physical activities, indoor games like hide and seek and tug of war are also advised.
Teach your dog new commands to build their self-control which is essential for better behavior. It will, in turn, teach you to be caring, responsible and patient. Make your dog your training partner, and you will have a happy and healthy lifestyle.
Regular dog exercising has shortcomings like obligations, schedules, and locations. To take care of these challenges, if you don’t have the time to exercise your dog, there are many dog trainers offering walking and running services at a fee. If you opt for this option, look for a class that has a good track record or positive feedback and reviews, offers top notch services and is near to your home for convenience. I would, however, recommend to do it yourself as it will keep both of you healthy and fit. Be consistent and make the experience fun for you and for your four-legged companion. Consult with your vet before beginning a dog exercise routine for a health check.