Everyone knows the importance of exercise for humans. There has been increased awareness of the benefits of regular exercise, regardless of the type of sport or activity that one does. Even just daily walking can have a host of positive effects on a person’s mood, health and overall wellbeing.
The same goes for dogs, but most of them will only get to exercise when they’re allowed to by their owners. When you buy a puppy, their physical and mental health becomes your responsibility. Whether you’re looking through sales for Husky puppies and considering getting one or are more interested in a relaxed breed, you’ll need to give your dog the proper amount of exercise.
While it’s true that the hectic nature of daily life may make it difficult to exercise your pet, it’s important to make the time so that they get enough activity. Regular exercise for your dog is one of the foundations of their overall health and ability to get along with other people and dogs.
Reasons To Give Your Dog Enough Exercise
1. Promotes digestive health
Most owners don’t think much of their dog’s toilet habits, as they just tend to happen on their own—however, digestive health is a big issue for many dog breeds. A dog’s digestive system is sensitive and depends on them getting high-quality vet-recommended dog food, as well as getting enough exercise.
Appropriate exercise helps stimulate all of your dog’s vital organs, including their digestive system. Bringing your dog outside for exercise can also give them the chance to relieve themselves outdoors, helping prevent urinary tract infections.
2. Helps combat anxiety
Anxiety in dogs is far too common and the number one treatment is more exercise. Many dogs develop attention-seeking and destructive behaviors because they have too much pent-up energy. Exercise allows them to expend that energy in productive ways.
Plus, just like in humans, dogs also experience the rush of endorphins after exercise. The natural high we humans feel after a good workout is something that dogs get, as well. The end result is a happier, healthier dog.
3. Keeps your dog’s mind sharp
Most dogs will spend their whole lives with their owner by their side. As a result, we have to watch our dogs age over the course of their entire lives, going from feisty puppies to senior dogs. While there’s no way to turn back the clock, regular exercise can help preserve our dog’s mental ability and ward off age-related diseases.
The only important caveat here is that the exercise should always be appropriate for your dog’s level of fitness and health. A 16-year-old schnauzer won’t have the same level of athletic ability as a 4-year-old Australian shepherd. You can consult your veterinarian for an exercise routine that is safe for your dog.
4. Allows them to socialize
Exercise doesn’t mean just going out into a fenced yard and romping around for hours—your dog can also get a great workout when meeting new dogs. Dog playgrounds and other similar shared outdoor spaces are a wonderful opportunity for your dog to really stretch their legs. Meeting all sorts of different people and animals also helps them be better-behaved dogs at home.
Ideally this socialization should start when your dog is still a puppy, but there’s also no harm in them getting even more of it when they’re older.
5. Helps you bond with your dog
Shared activity is one of the best ways to develop a lifelong bond with your dog. The more you play and exercise with your dog, the more they learn to trust you. This can have great effects on your day-to-day life and obedience training efforts—a happy dog is a well-behaved dog, after all.
You may even find yourself getting more fit as well, especially if you have to keep up with a high-energy breed such as a Poodle or German shorthaired pointer.
6. Can prevent your dog from gaining weight
Much like humans, many dogs suffer from excess weight gain due to a lack of exercise and way too many treats. However, an overweight dog can develop all sorts of health problems that can severely affect their quality of life. Regular exercise is a great way to keep the pounds from piling on, so long as you’re also giving your dog the proper nutrition.
Practice portion control for your dog and resist the temptation to give them too many treats. Do that and give them the right amount of exercise, and they’ll be trim and fit in no time.
Most dogs don’t need hours upon hours of exercise. Regular walks a couple of times a day and maybe one long play session whenever you can fit it into your schedule is usually enough.
What’s important is to realize that our dogs are almost completely dependent on us for their health. Giving them what they need in terms of exercise will help ensure that they’re happy and content for as long as you have them by your side.