WHY YOUR DOG NEEDS EXERCISE

While humans have managed to domesticate dogs over the years, making them comfortable lounging around at home whether we’re home or out, there’s no denying that dogs are still built for physical activity. Canines have worked with us as hunters, herders and protectors for thousands of years, and their physiology hasn’t changed in that regard. In order to accommodate the needs of your canines and make them happy at home, it’s important to make sure they exercise on a regular basis.

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Problems That Lack of Exercise Causes for Dogs

Without proper exercise, your dog will not have as many healthy outlets for their energy, and in fact may resort to destructive or self-destructive behavior if they aren’t taken for walks or played with frequently. Some of the behaviors an inactive dog may display include:

  • Harmful scratching, chewing or digging
  • Knocking over and damaging furniture
  • Rough play and biting
  • Increased barking and whining
  • Excitability and hyperactivity that lasts overnight
  • Investigative behaviors such as raiding trash cans

Exercise Benefits for Canines

Keeping your dog active on a consistent basis will help keep your dog healthy in many ways, and will make you less frustrated as an owner when you don’t have to handle out-of-control behavior. With proper exercise, your dog will:

  • Maintain a healthy digestive system
  • Stay limber and agile
  • Remain less neurotic and stressed
  • Get fatigued at appropriate times following exercise
  • Retain a healthy weight

How to Exercise Your Dog

Before starting an exercise program, it’s important to speak with your canine’s veterinarian to check for and discuss any health issues that exercise may exacerbate. Dogs are naturally more athletic than humans, making it more difficult for many owners to find ways to expel their dogs’ energy. The most common and effective ways involve walking your dogs regularly and playing with them regularly. Keep in mind that different breeds will have different walking habits, and different personalities will also prefer different activities and routines.

If you work full-time during the day, you most likely won’t have as much time to walk your dog consistently, which means your dog remains inactive throughout the day. You may want to consider a qualified dog walking service, such as the reputable Cruisin’ Canines in Chicago, to make sure your dog experiences a regular exercise routine. A personally assigned walker who becomes familiar with your dogs’ individual needs will make the dog happier and ensure they experience regular contact with people.

It’s important to consider the fact that exercise doesn’t always need to emphasize physical activity. Your dogs’ brains can work out through obedience and trick training and puzzle toys that reward them with food. Chew toys are always a good option as well. This is good for owners who aren’t as capable of enduring long walks or runs, as it keeps the dog active while the owner remains still for the most part.

You can find my Cruisin’ Canines friends on Facebook. Or watch their videos on YouTube. And be sure to look out for more updates about canine health and other information on The Puppy 411.