Why Your Dog’s Fitness Matters
We love when spring comes around, because during the month of April we celebrate National Canine Fitness Month. Our dogs come in many shapes and sizes, just like us. No matter the breed or age, every dog needs some sort of regular physical activity each day. Routine physical movement can provide several benefits for you and your dog’s health both physically and emotionally.
Why Does My Dog Need Physical Activity?
Exercising your dog keeps them healthy and limber throughout the course of their life and can increase the chance of a greater life span. The more mobile your dog is day to day, the longer you can enjoy your time together.
Regular exercise is also recommended for your dog’s mental health. It can reduce unwanted behavioral problems such as excessive chewing, licking, digging, barking, and anxiety-related tendencies. Getting into this habit can build trust and understanding between you and your dog as well as their environment.
As proven over time, a tired dog is typically a better behaved, calm, focused, and eager-to-please type of dog. Moreover, regular exercise doesn’t just benefit them, it can benefit you too by keeping you active, and reducing stress levels when it comes to dealing with their behavior.
Avoid Obesity and Other Health-Related Diseases
Physical activity for your dog is the first major component of avoiding obesity in a canine, and should also be practiced if managing it. Obesity is one of the most common diseases developed over a dog’s life span and can be easily prevented through an active lifestyle. Not to mention, keeping up with their exercise may save you money on possible medical bills in the future.
If you are curious about your dog’s weight, visit their vet to find out so you can discuss the ideal weight range for your dog. If weight is of concern with your dog, your vet may suggest a health plan to manage it such as what their diet should look like and what kind of physical activity would be optimal for your dog’s weight loss journey.
Amount of Exercise for Your Dog
Every dog needs exercise. The type, duration, and intensity may vary per dog. Some dogs are hyperactive in nature, especially certain breeds, and may require more activity exertion than others.
The age of your dog usually plays a factor as most puppies are energetic, curious, and working on developing proper skeletal, joint, and muscle systems as they grow. Older dogs can slow down in movement capabilities so it’s important to talk with their vet regarding the ideal type of physical activity that is custom to them. It’s important to keep in mind though that regardless of their age, all dogs still need some movement each day if physically possible and cleared by their vet.
What Type of Exercise
Most dogs are happy with the simple things in life. Toys are typically a joy to chase and chew for most. If you and your dog are home bodies, try rolling a ball down the hallway or in the backyard, play tug of war, practice training commands, play “find it” with a treat or toy around the house, or walk them on the treadmill if they find it enjoyable.
In addition, being outside in nature is a great, arguably the best, form of stimulation for most dogs. Outdoor activities can include a walk on our off-leash, running, playing fetch, swimming, jogging while you cycle, and even practicing outdoor training commands.
It’s important to note that over exercising a dog is possible and should be avoided if you recognize this potential or burnout. Overdoing it with exercise can create unpleasant medical conditions for your dog and cause joint strain. Paying attention to weather conditions is important to avoid overheating your dog on a hot day or causing them any distress.
An Active Dog is a Happy Dog
Prioritizing your dog’s physical activity is crucial for their health just as much as it is ours. Considering your dog’s physical needs and desirable lifestyle will make for a great relationship between the two of you. Find a form of exercise you both enjoy together to maintain that bond. Just like our fitness matters, so does theirs.