Exercising your dog should not be a chore for you. It is beneficial to you just as much as it is for your companion. Taking your dog out releases your own endorphins, making you a happier and healthier human! Enjoy your bonding and activity time together and you will have a special bond like no other!
Walking, jogging and hiking are not the only ways to fulfill the activity needs or exercise of your pet. Training in dog sports such as Agility or Flyball works both his mind and body together. He learns to follow and trust your guidance through obstacles to reach a common goal. You don’t have to compete to enjoy these activities. You can set up a few obstacles of your own, in your yard and enjoy the time with your furry friend. We find ourselves doing this quite a bit with our 3 terriers Faith, Harley, and Cici, which can be hasty at times.
Dog parks are another popular way to exercise your dog. There are pros and cons to them, as they provide socialization with other dogs but also do nothing to build on your relationship with him. Dog parks can also be dangerous, as there is usually a mix of a group of strange dogs that have never met, some may even have behavioral problems or ignore their owner’s commands. When using a dog park, it’s usually best to have the same playgroup with other owners and dogs you know and trust. Your best friend will have a blast romping in a fenced area with good friends!
More active people and dogs can jog together. Some people even train their dog to jog next to them while they are riding their bike. You should only attempt to do this if your dog is physically fit enough to handle it. Swimming is another activity you can do with your dog. Most dogs love to swim once they have tried it a time or two. Dogs are natural swimmers and it should not take long for your dog to enjoy regular swims with you. If you are at all worried or concerned about your dogs safety, while swimming, there are special life jackets for him to wear when swimming that you can purchase.
Now you know your dog will not turn down a game of fetch. This is another great way to exercise your dog. Most dogs enjoy chasing a ball, Frisbee, or stick and your dog will love the opportunity to play with you. Tug of war is another activity dogs enjoy playing with each other and with you as well. You can use an old towel, rope, or chew toy to play tug of war with your dog.
Give Your Dog A Job
Your dog needs a job. Whether your dogs ancestors were bred for hunting or herding. It is important that he/she is able to act on his instincts, and unless you have a hunt on the calendar or a herd of cattle handy, that means giving your furry friend exercise opportunities. Dogs like to have a job. If a dog does not have something to do, for example chasing a Frisbee, he/she will give themselves a job, such as barking excessively at someone just walking by or taking out the trash.
A thoughtful exercise routine does not just provide a physical workout, it provides valuable and mental stimulation as well. Introducing your dog to a new game or interactive workout will put his thinking cap on.
Many of us have not taught our dogs anything new since they were puppies. I know it is very easy to do. Can you imagine if you didn’t learn anything in your job after six months? Would you not be bored out of your mind?
Dogs And There Joints
Exercise is one of the best ways to ensure that your pets joints stay happy and healthy. Not only will a healthy weight prevent excess pressure, but exercise ensures that the joints stay lubricated while strengthening the supporting muscles.
Before increasing your dogs activity levels, make sure that you think about consulting with your veterinarian when out and about, and/or thinking like a dog. For example, just because you love going for a long run on the beach does not mean your Pal will. Seashells can be painful on sensitive paws, and direct sun can quickly cause your big buddy to overheat.
We can not completely prevent our dogs from racking up the birthdays and getting older on us. But, as with humans, getting the proper amount of exercise can help keep your dogs mind sharp and ward off some age related diseases. While it is important for senior dogs to stay active, it’s equally important to adjust their routine and remember that those high-speed puppy days are over.
While being old is not a disease, it is important get advice from your dogs veterinarian about how much exercise and what types of exercise are appropriate for a senior dog. If a dog is stiff and has difficulty rising in the morning, after a big day from before, you may need to scale back or choose a different form of exercise.
The key to an effective exercise program is regularity. Try to maintain a regular exercise schedule for your dog. Giving your dog regular exercise is one of the best things you can do for him and will help him live a healthier and happier life. Remember to make sure you consider your dogs thick coat and the hot sun too. You can check out our post on exhaustion and heat stroke prevention here.
Always remember safety first. Please leave any questions or comments that you may have. We are here to help, so ask away. Happy Tails, Happy Trails!