Dogs and exercise

Is your dog a couch potato? Does your dog have a weight problem? Are you worried about his health?

Consider that if exercise is important to us and our health, does it not go without saying that exercise for your dog is just as important? Exercise can help not only for your dog to be physically healthy, but also promotes better mental health for him.

Physically exercise can improve your dog’s cardiovascular capacity, promote healthier blood pressure, aid in better food digestion, tone muscles, increase bone strength and improve joint mobility. Exercise can also promote a healthier state of mind and provide stress relief while also burning off calories and decreasing body fat. A proper exercise program can also lessen the risk of contracting numerous diseases including heart attacks, diabetes, arthritis and cancer. The benefits of a regular exercise routine for your dog can be enormous.

Exercise can also help your dog to be better behaved. If your pet has a regular exercise program, all that pent-up energy will be spent and he may not have the energy to get into mischief or display unwanted behaviors, like being aggressive, barking excessively or chewing everything in sight.

And, providing a regular exercise program can help the bond you share with your dog. You can share time with your pet when you take him for walks or jog with him, or even when you take him to the doggie day care centre–whatever you choose as his exercise routine. You and he can have fun playing together or as you teach him new tricks. All of this can only improve the relationship you have with your dog. Including a daily exercise regime does not have to be a complicated thing. All movement is considered exercise, so even if you do not have time to walk your dog for a mile or two everyday, there are easy ways to include exercise in his daily routine. And, 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. How about simply throwing a toy across the room for him to fetch? You can even do this as you work on your computer at home. Take a few minutes and play tug of war with him with a rope toy. Hide at treat and make him look for it. You can even do passive doggie massage.

If you really have a time problem, you can always hire a service to help. There are many agencies that specialize in dog-walking. There are pet resorts and doggie day care centres. Or you can even hire a neighborhood child to take your dog for a walk. There are treadmills made especially for dogs that you can use. Or perhaps getting a dog-door built into your house can help him get the exercise he needs. There are also other ways how you can be involved with your dog’s exercise regime. How about training your dog to participate in agility competitions or various other competitions available, like dog sledding, sport hunting or herding dog competitions, lure coursing, fly tracking, or obedience competitions. Being involved in these competitions can help you get in your own exercise at the same time as your dog. The competitions mentioned here are only a few of the ones available; there are many others to choose from.

You can also sign up for different classes that you and your dog can do together. A great new one that is becoming popular is Doga which is yoga for dogs. This has all the calming benefits that people find with yoga, plus stretching and movement for your dog.

It is important 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.