Many dog owners think that they provide their beloved pets with all their needs – from healthy and nutritious meals to regular visits to the vets.
However, one key area that novice dog owners might miss is exercise.
Why dogs need exercise
One key trait that has allowed dogs to thrive along with their humans is adaptability. From the first wolves that sought refuge in prehistoric communities right to that pudgy pooch sharing your couch with you now, canines have learned and mastered how to live with people.
But as much as your beloved pet has adjusted to your schedule, habits, and personal quirks, their needs, and natural instincts remain the same. One essential requirement that you must help your dog meet is exercise.
● Exercise keeps your dog physically fit
Just like humans, dogs need physical activities to maintain good health. And the more physically fit your pupper is, the easier it will be for him to keep diseases at bay.
● It prevents bad doggie behavior
Many troublesome dog behaviors can be attributed to boredom and lack of exercise. When your dog has no outlet to release its pent-up energy, it has no other recourse but to resort to bad behavior, like chewing up your shoes or furniture.
Exercising facilitates the release of endorphins in both dogs and humans, making both of you happy.
● It provides socialization opportunities
Both old and young dogs can enjoy the benefit of socialization from regular exercise. Meeting new dogs and people and experiencing new sights, sounds, and scents are especially beneficial to your beloved canine.
● It makes training easier
Some dogs seem to have boundless energy, making it difficult for their humans to train them. One workaround for that is to tire your pet out with some exercise before proceeding with dog training, so he can become more focused.
Why you should make exercise about the both of you
Exercising your dog shouldn’t be a tedious chore. Instead of looking at it as another task that you need to tick off your to-do list, why not make it an opportunity for both of you to get sufficient exercise?
Exercising with your dog strengthens your bond with your pet. Even a casual stroll around your neighborhood is more than enough for you and your pet to reap the benefits of exercise and strengthen your ties with one another.
Putting in exercise time with your dog allows both of you to get better sleep. For you, that means more physical and mental energy to face the challenges of the next day. For your dog, regular exercise followed by restful sleep keeps his physical and mental health at an optimal level.
How much exercise does your dog need?
The exercise requirements of dogs will depend on a few critical factors. Before buying a new leash for your dog from your trusted online pet supplies store so you can get started on walks and other outdoor activities, you should be aware of these factors.
The first thing to consider is your dog’s age. Puppies have vast reserves of energy and benefit from several short exercise sessions.
The exercise requirements of adult dogs, on the other hand, will depend heavily on their breed. High-energy dog breeds will require more exercise time compared to their low-energy peers.
Exercise is also vital for senior dogs. While they may have lost some of their vigor, older dogs can still benefit from some physical activities.
Whatever life stage your dog may be in, consult your vet to determine his exercise needs.
A few helpful tips
Almost all dogs benefit from regular walks, and walking is a great place to start for both you and your pet.
But apart from walking around your neighborhood and nearby parks, there are other activities that you might want to try with him, both indoors and outdoors. These activities include playing fetch, skating, cycling, hiking, and obedience training.
Remember to start slow and increase the activity level as your pet begins to adjust. And just like humans, dogs need warm-ups and cool-downs when exercising. It can be as simple as taking a quick walk before engaging in a more strenuous activity.
Apart from exercising your dog’s body, you should also stimulate his mind. Try new walking paths or even playing new games and buying all kinds of toys for Fido.
Avoid exercising your dog when it is too hot outside. This can leave him vulnerable to heat stroke.
Should you exercise your dog before or after a meal? If you prefer to feed your dog first before going out for a walk, wait for half an hour before putting on his collar and leash. On the other hand, if you prefer to feed him after exercise, you must wait at least one hour. Otherwise, you may put your dog at risk of developing stomach problems like bloating and torsion.
Every good boy needs exercise
Just like people, dogs need regular exercise to stave off physical and mental problems. Carve some time off from your schedule and break a sweat with your pet.