It’s often said that dogs are a lot like people. Just as how exercise is important to humans, it is significant for your dog too. Living a sedentary life will cause you to fall into illnesses, and this is also applicable to dogs.
Exercise ensures that your dog will go a long way. They don’t easily get sick as well. Also, it makes them look better and feel greater. So get them out for morning walks around the neighborhood, and before you know it, you’re mapping a new lifestyle for your dog and for you too! While you’re taking out your dog for his exercise, you are also exercising too!
As one of the healthiest and most effective forms of exercise, walking is beneficial for humans and canines alike. Aside from being an enjoyable and easy activity, it requires no special equipment as well. In 2008, it was reported that families who own dogs had only half the risk of childhood obesity compared to families without dogs. Moreover, 70 percent of dog owners get to exercise 150 minutes every week, while only 40 percent of non-owners get no exercise at all. Get the best benefits of a walking program for you and your pet by planning at least half an hour of minutes of walking every day. Once you’ve established the routine, your dog will come to expect it and might give you a nudge lest you slack off.
Although dogs have an innate ability to swim, not all dogs like to swim. While some chicken out once put in the water, others (of certain breeds) would swim away easily.
If your dog is a swimmer, then it would not be a problem to get him to the water. Swimming offers great aerobic conditioning, especially to older dogs who are suffering from arthritic joints as swimming has lesser impact compared to running. Of course, be mindful of where you let your dog swim. Lakes or ponds may contain bacteria that could harm your dog. Chlorinated pools might irritate your dog’s skin, so be sure to rinse them off with a hose after swimming.
For most dogs, any type of exercise could be fun, especially if you, its owner, are involved as well. Engage him in activities like fetching a ball or Frisbee and other interactive activities that won’t seem exercise at all as you and your best buddy are bonding as well.
Not Too Little, Not Too Much
Too much of a good thing may derive a bad result. Do not let your dog exert too much physically, but don’t let them go un-exercised as well. So how do you know if your dog’s exercise program is too little or too much? Watch out for these signs.
When your dog gets too little exercise, your dog puts on more weight. He becomes hyperactive and tends to chew excessively, digs your lawn in your front yard, and barks loud enough to annoy even you. Improper elimination can also be a cause of lack of exercise.
On the other hand, over-exercised dogs tend to lag behind during exercise and suddenly stop to lie down. They pant excessively, wheeze, or run out of breath. They are easily distressed or agitated.
Around an hour or two is the average exercise time for most dogs, although factors such as breed, age, and overall health condition can affect your dog’s response to activity. Also consider the dog’s age when planning for an exercise program for it. An adult dog can tolerate more exercise than an elderly dog or a young pup. Temperature factors can also play an impact to the amount of exercise your dog can tolerate.
Check Your Dog’s Condition
There are no two dogs alike. So what one dog can do, perhaps the other can not. Therefore adapt your dog’s exercise program to what suits it, especially its condition at the start of an exercise. If your dog is overweight, start slow before gradually increasing the activities.
Short-nosed breeds like pugs and bulldogs, for example, are far less tolerant of aerobic exercise (running, swimming, walking) than long-snouted breeds like retrievers and collies.
Just Do It!
When it comes to dog exercise, remember the popular Nike adage: Just do it! And then look forward to a happier and healthier life for you and your dog.