EXERCISE FOR DOGS IS CRUCIAL
We all want our pups to live their best, healthiest and happiest lives possible. It should come as no surprise that one of the best ways to achieve this goal is by exercising your dog on a regular basis. When we talk about exercise for dogs, we mean much more than a quick trip outside a few times a day. True exercise for your pup should be meaningful and engaging when they get a true workout. This time of activity is crucial for your dog’s longterm well being.
Although this blog will be focused on the physical aspects of exercising, we have written previous blogs that discuss mental health in dogs. Mental enrichment is just as important as physical exercise, and should be considered as part of your daily routine as well. Oftentimes owners will plan mental and physical exercise for dogs simultaneously. Planning this time with your pup is a great way to bond while keeping them healthy.
TYPES OF EXERCISE FOR DOGS
As we mentioned, exercise for dogs is important for your pup to live a healthy, happy life. By providing the right type of physical activity your dog will remain limber, at their weight goal, and will be less likely to develop serious and costly medical conditions associated with obesity in the future. Based on your dog’s breed and age, the proper amount of exercise may vary. Although the duration and intensity may change, there are two main ways you can exercise your dog:
- On or off leash “traditional” exercise. Traditional forms of exercise would include daily walks with durations of 60-90 minutes depending on your dog’s age and breed. On leash training allows you control of your pup and the ability to better set a pace, versus off leash training which puts your dog in control. Swimming is another traditional form of exercise that burns off additional energy.
- High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT). This type of training focuses on bursts of very high energy in a short time frame. It is generally recommended that HIIT sessions last no more that 15-20 minutes, depending on how conditioned your pup is. Activities can include chase, various forms of ball play, and tug of war type games.
EXERCISE BENEFITS OWNERS TOO
The main purpose of providing the right type of meaningful exercise for dogs is to ensure your pup stays healthy and lives a long life. That said, there are actually several reasons why properly exercising your pup may also benefit you as well:
- Your dog’s behavior is noticeably improved. Dog’s are high energy animals, and when they do not receive enough mental of physical stimulation from their owners, they try to provide it themselves. Unfortunately for owners, when dogs try to entertain themselves, it usually results in “bad” or destructive behavior. By providing the right type of exercise, your pup will be much more calm in your home and less likely to have behavioral issues.
- You can exercise at the same time.. Many owners exercise themselves while they exercise their dogs. Both traditional activities such as running, and HIIT sessions provide an opportunity for owners to be involved. Not only does your love this engagement, it’s healthy for you too!
- A healthy dog means lower medical bills. When your pup is in shape and is a healthy weight, they are significantly less likely to develop medical conditions like diabetes, high blood pressure, joint issues, skin disease, and respiratory issues. This can result in saving thousands of dollars in medical bills over the lifetime of your dog.
- Your pup will be around a lot longer. Simply put, our pups make our lives better. They are loyal family members who experience the good and the bad along with us, never leaving our side. On average, a healthy dog’s life expectancy is 2.5 years longer than that of an obese dog. That alone is enough motivation to get up and exercise with your dog!
EXERCISE FOR DOGS - A ROUTINE YOU CAN'T SKIP
Statistically one of the biggest challenges dog owners face is ensuring their pup stays a healthy weight. It is currently estimated that a staggering 56% of dogs in the United States are considered overweight. As owners, it’s on us to ensure our pups live their best lives. to accomplish this goal, it’s crucial that gods receive the proper amount of physical and mental stimulation each day.
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