Exercise is vital for your dog’s health and overall well-being. This doesn’t only apply to physical health but includes mental and emotional well-being also.
Reasons your dog needs to receive adequate exercise and mental stimulation are;
– keeps them fit and their bodies in top physical condition. Dogs that stay lean and fit are less likely to have joint issues, diabetes, and even some forms of cancers.
– for mental and emotional health and wellbeing. Being confirmed to their home 24/7 is mentally frustrating and unhealthy for a dog. Even if you have a large backyard, this does not exercise your dog
– to provide socialization. Dogs are a social animal by nature. Not having the opportunity for social contact with people and other animals can impact on their mental health.
– aids in training.
– prevents injury by keeping bones, muscles and tendons strong and supple
– boosts the immune system by keeping the heart and internal organs healthy
– helps with weight management
– prevents behavior issues by preventing boredom. A tired dog is a well-behaved dog. A bored dog will look for ways to alleviate this boredom. Often this in ways that are destructive or even dangerous.
– is an important time in building your bond with your dog.
How much exercise does my dog need each day
The quality and quantity your dog exercise needs on a daily basis is dependant on several factors. These include breed, age, health and weight and the fitness level of your dog. To get a better idea of how much exercise your dog needs refer to “Dog exercise calculator”
The exercise needs of a puppy are different from that of an adult dog. This is because puppies joints, bones, and muscles are growing are more prone to injury. Read “How to exercise a puppy” for more.
Do I need to walk my dog every day
It is best to walk or exercise your dog on a daily basis. However, this is not always possible due to weather, time or other commitments in our busy modern lifestyle. Read “No time to exercise dog” for tips on this. It is far better to give your dog regular exercise than to give them a massive workout at the weekend. This can increase the risk of an injury. Also, by the time the weekend comes your dog will be so full of pent-up energy. It is important to understand that mental exercise is just as important as physical exercise. In fact, mental stimulation can use as much of your dog’s energy as a physical workout. For more on this read “Mental enrichment and mind stimulation“
Why is walking your dog so important
The daily walk is far more to a dog than just an opportunity to get some exercise. It is important for the dog to leave their own property to explore and take in the sights, sounds, and smells. This provides mental stimulation for your dog. Mental enrichment and mind stimulation can burn as much energy as physical activity and has psychological benefits for your dog. It also provides a training opportunity and helps to build a strong bond with your dog.
Even if you have a large backyard this is not exercise for a dog. Dogs will generally not exercise themselves. This is true even if you have more than one dog. The majority of the time they will just lay around.
There is also the social interaction aspect of taking your dog for a walk. While out walking you are most likely going to meet other dogs. This is a great way for your dog to learn the correct ways of social interaction and communication with new dogs. It also helps your dog to build confidence. Well socialized dogs still enjoy playing with other dogs, but they will know when to stop.
If you don’t have the time or energy to walk your dog daily I recommend you use the services of a dog walker.
Read “How far should I walk my dog” to learn more about the importance of walking your dog.
Over exercised dog symptoms
The importance and benefits of regular exercise for your dog are in no doubt. However, it is also important to understand that you can over-exercise your dog. You should gradually increase your dogs exercise over time. To learn more about the signs to be aware of when over-exercising your dog read “Over exercised dog symptoms“
Regular and sufficient exercise is important for dogs for their overall physical, mental and emotional health. In addition, it helps with avoiding injury by keeping their joints, muscles, and tendons strong. It also boosts their immune system to prevent illness and is an important part of weight management. Obesity is becoming an all too common thing in the dog world.
Exercise is also crucial in preventing problem and destructive behaviors. This can also include aggressive behavior. A happy, calm and balanced dog is a well-behaved dog and a pleasure to own.
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Types of exercise and activity
For senior and dogs with injury
Breed specific exercise needs
- Airedale Terrier
- American Bulldog
- Australian Labradoodle (Mini, Medium, Standard)
- Australian Shepherd
- Basset Hounds
- Belgian Shepherd
- Bernese Mountain Dog (BMD)
- Bichon Frise
- Blue Heeler
- Border Collie
- Border Terrier
- Boston Terrier
- Boxer dog
- Cavalier King Charles Spaniel
- Cavapoo (Cavoodle)
- Cattle Dog
- Chesapeake Retriever
- Chow Chow
- Cocker Spaniel
- Curly Coat Retriever
- English Bulldog
- English Pointer
- English Setter
- Flat-Coated Retriever
- French Bulldog
- German Shorthair Pointer(GSP) – includes wirehair and long hair
- German Shepherd
- Great Dane
- Goldendoodle (Mini, Standard)
- Golden Retriever
- Gordon Setter
- Irish Setter
- Jack Russell
- Japanese Spitz
- Labradoodle (Mini, Medium, Standard)
- Labrador Retriever
- Lhasa Apso
- Miniature Schnauzer
- Miniature Poodle
- Rhodesian Ridgeback
- Rough Collie
- Saint Bernard
- Shar Pei
- Shiba Inu
- Shih Tzu
- Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier
- Springer Spaniel
- Standard Poodle
- Toy Poodle
- Yorkshire Terrier