If exercise is important to us and our health, does it not go without saying that exercise for dogs is just as important. Exercise helps to not only help your dog stay physically healthy, but also promotes better mental health for him.
Physically, exercise for dogs can improve their cardiovascular capacity, promote healthier blood pressure, allow for better digestion of food, tone muscles, increase bone strength and improve joint mobility. Exercise can also promote a healthier state of mind, provide stress relief while also burning off calories and decreasing body fat. Also, exercise can lessen the risk of contracting numerous diseases from heart attacks, diabetes, and arthritis, to cancer. As you can see, the benefits of a regular exercise routine for your dog can be enormous.
Exercise can also help your dog be better behaved. When your pet is involved in a regular exercise program he will be getting rid of all the pent-up energy he may otherwise have put into mischievous or unwanted behaviors, such as being aggressive, barking excessively or chewing.
And, providing a regular exercise program for your dog can help you and he bond better together. You will be sharing time with your pet when you walk him, or jog with him, or take him to the doggie day care centre—whatever you choose as his exercise routine. You can have fun playing with him or teaching him new tricks. This can only improve the relationship that you have together.
Including a daily exercise regime into your pet’s life does not have to be a complicated affair. All movement is exercise, so even if you do not have time to walk your dog for a mile or two everyday, don’t despair. Throw a ball across the room for him to chase. Play tug of war with him with a rope toy. Make him look for a treat you have hidden. Do doggie massage. There are many ways to get your dog moving that don’t take a lot of time. Find something fun for you both to do together.
Alternately, if you are really stuck for time, hire a service to help. There are numerous agencies that specialize in dog-walking, pet resorts, doggie day cares or you can hire a neighborhood child to help you walk your dog. You can purchase a treadmill made especially for dogs to help him get his exercise, or even getting a dog-door built into your house can give him access to his own exercise yard.
You can participate together in agility competitions or various other competitions available, such as dog sledding, sport hunting or herding dog competitions, lure coursing, fly tracking, or obedience competitions. Those are only a few of the ones available.
You can also sign up for various classes for you and your dog to share. A great new one that is becoming popular is doga – yoga for dogs. This type of exercise has all the calming benefits that people find with yoga, plus the stretching and movement for your dog.
The point of this article is that your dog, for his own sake, should not become a couch potato. Getting the proper amount of exercise can help him live a longer and happier life—one that you want to share in for a long time.