The Benefits of Regular Exercise for Dogs
Like humans, dogs need regular exercise to maintain physical and mental health. This helps prevent many health issues and improves a dog’s quality of life.
However, many dog owners underestimate the importance of physical exercise for their furry friends.
This article highlights the benefits of regular exercise in dogs and explains why it is necessary for their overall well-being.
Why Do Dogs Need Exercise?
Exercising your dog allows them to embrace their inherent traits and be themselves. Dogs are naturally inclined to move around. They want to run. They love to play. They need physical activities that would keep them active, occupied, and stimulated.
Dogs have a reserve of energy and need an outlet to release this. One way to do it is through physical exercise. Otherwise, this pent-up energy can result in behavioral and health issues.
How Much Exercise Does a Dog Need?
Different dog breeds need different activity routines. High-energy breeds like Border Collies and Siberian Huskies demand a substantial amount of exercise daily. In contrast, dog breeds with lower energy levels, like French Bulldogs, don't need a lot of activities to stay fit.
In addition to breed, the amount of exercise needed also depends on their age and health condition. Puppies typically have more energy to expend than adult dogs. Likewise, senior dogs may be slower than they once were. If your furry companion has a medical condition, they need an appropriate exercise regimen that won’t risk their health.
Make time to research your dog’s needs to ensure you’re not over-exercising or under-exercising them. Better yet, consult your vet to set up an exercise plan for your pooch.
Types of Exercise for Dogs
Here are some common exercises that you can try with your dog:
Walking is arguably the simplest and most convenient exercise you can do with your pet. A brisk walk allows your dog to sniff around and explore their surroundings, stimulating their mental faculties. Aside from burning off excess energy, this also lowers your pup’s blood pressure and the risk of depression.
Generally, dogs need at least 1-2 walking sessions every day. You can engage your dog with a 20-minute walk initially. Once your dog acclimates to the activity, gradually increase the walking time.
Running is a fantastic option to keep your dog fit and well-exercised. Nevertheless, it's important to note that distance running isn't suitable for all dogs. Make sure you’ve done several walking sessions with your dog before transitioning to running. Don’t rush the process. Start with a slow-paced walk, then integrate short jogging phases before progressing to more extended stretches.
Most dogs enjoy swimming and splashing in the water. Swimming is workout that improves endurance and strengthens the heart and lungs. It is also great for dogs with arthritis.
It’s advisable to assist your dog during their first plunge. However, if your dog isn’t too fond of this activity, explore other activities or sports that your dog finds enjoyable rather than forcing them to swim.
4. Playing Fetch
Fetching is a form of exercise that has excitement and fun in the mix. Playing fetch with your dog keeps them mentally healthy. This teaches them concentration and patience, as they eagerly await the object to be thrown.
Fetch is an easy game that you can play with your pet anywhere. While retrieving objects is instinctive to most dogs, your furry friend may still need some training. Simply get a ball, throw it, and instruct your dog to retrieve it for you. It’s a simple yet engaging game that gets dogs wagging their tails in no time.
5. Obedience Training
Teaching your dog obedience is an effective way to keep them engaged, active, and stimulated. It’s a type of activity that you can integrate into all other exercises. For example, you can teach your dog to retrieve the ball during a fetch game. You can also train them to heel during walks. In addition, you can command your dog to stay put once they get too excited to chase any small animal they've spotted.
Training should be part of your pet’s daily routine. Teaching them to follow basic dog commands allows you to strengthen your relationship.
Best E-Collars for Basic Obedience Training
You can supplement your obedience training with remote training collars. These tools help you to communicate better with your dog while you train.
The Dogtra 200C remote trainer has an ultra-compact receiver designed for dogs with smaller necks. It’s an intuitive dog training collar, excellent for reinforcing dog commands. With its 1/2-mile range, this Dogtra dog collar works well for backyard training, neighborhood walks, or park strolls.
The ET-300 Mini Educator e-collar is quite popular among dog owners and trainers. It’s a remote training collar that can help you achieve your dog training goals, such as obedience training and behavior modification. It has a range of ½ mile, 100 levels of stimulation, vibration, and tone for your customization. You can choose from the three color options – yellow, black, and the Educator Zen 300.
The SportDog FieldTrainer 425X is a dog shock collar great for basic obedience training. It’s the smallest and lightest SportDog e-collar. Its 500-yard range and 21 static levels are sufficient for training dogs of any size.
The Benefits of Regular Exercise for Dogs
Irrespective of age, breed, and size, dogs all need exercise on a regular basis. Exercising your dog has advantages, including improved physical health, mental stimulation, and behavior modification.
Below are the top 5 benefits of regular exercise for dogs:
Improves Dog Behavior
Destructive behaviors often result from excess energy that dogs don’t know how to release. This pent-up energy may cause them to chew, bite, and tear your furniture to alleviate boredom. Regular exercise, such as walking, can help burn off their energy and tire them out, preventing such destructive behaviors.
Reduces Anxiety in Dogs
Exercise helps your dog not only physically but also emotionally. It stimulates the release of mood-boosting endorphins, which can help your dog feel calm and reduce stress. When your dog exercises, they release built-up energy and any emotional tensions, thereby relaxing them as a result. This can be helpful for dogs who may have anxiety or have had a stressful day.
Enhances Heart and Lung Health
Physical activities strengthen the heart muscles and improve blood circulation throughout the body. This can help minimize the risk of heart disease in pets. Moreover, this can enhance respiratory health by allowing your dog to take in more oxygen and expel carbon dioxide.
Exercise helps dogs burn excess calories, which is crucial to maintain a healthy weight. Frequent physical activities can lower the chances of your dog gaining weight. This reduces the likelihood of obesity and the serious health problems associated with it, such as pancreatitis and diabetes.
Increases Bone Density and Boosts Joint Health
Both walking and running can stimulate bone growth and increase bone density. Increased bone density reduces the risk of fractures and other bone-related injuries. In addition, swimming improves joint health and flexibility in dogs, keeping their joints strong and healthy.
Exercise is a simple method that has several benefits in dogs. This activity helps prevent destructive behaviors and improves their physical and mental health.
Dogs need structured exercise programs tailored to their specific needs. If you’re unsure what kind of activity to give your dog, make sure to consult your vet. They would be in the best position to advise you on this concern.
Ensuring your dog gets the necessary exercise would keep them happy, healthy, and well-behaved.
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