Exercising with Your Dog and What Happens When You Don’t
Dog exercise. One of the most important things you can give your dog is your time. Exercise is just as important for your dog’s health as it is for yours, and not getting any can cause problems. How much exercise your dog needs varies from dog to dog, as it is dependent upon breed, age, and even overall health. After all, a young pup usually needs more activity than a senior dog.
Exercising Your Puppy
Puppies typically have more energy than adult dogs, and they often need multiple short bouts of activity to keep them well-exercised. Because your puppy is growing and developing, short stints of activity, such as going for a walk or playing fetch, are usually a safer choice than prolonged activity, which may be physically demanding for your puppy’s growing body. Exercising your pup is also a great way to help train and socialize them.
Exercising Your Adult Dog
A dog’s breed will heavily influence how active it is and what kind of activities it needs. For example, a high-energy breed such as a Border Collie will generally need more exercise than a Bulldog. When you are looking at getting a new dog, the breed’s exercise requirements are important to keep in mind, especially in light of the activities you already do. After all, a Yorkie is not likely to join you in training for a marathon, but a Goldendoodle might have the stamina to run with you for lengths of time. As your dog ages, it’s important to keep medical conditions in mind when developing an exercise plan. Your veterinarian can help you determine appropriate activities for your older pup, especially if your pup has chronic health issues such as hip dysplasia or heart disease. For these dogs, exercise can help keep weight off, but it can cause more work for their joints or heart pumping. Overdoing it can lead to pain and discomfort.
Other Reasons to Exercise Your Dog
For younger or more active dogs, a healthy amount of activity can help keep them from developing destructive behaviours. When they don’t have an activity outlet, they may become hyperactive when cooped up for long periods causing boredom causing the urge to dig or chew in the house. You may come home and find that your new couch has been shredded by your puppy or that the remote has been chewed up, sending you on a hunt to find the batteries or going to the vet for X-rays to make sure your dog didn’t eat them. Dogs that don’t have a good outlet for their energy are also more prone to developing rough playing behaviours, including biting and predatory behaviours, which can be especially problematic if you have a small child at home or other small animals. There are many healthful benefits to regularly exercising your dog. Especially when they are young, regular exercise builds socialization and helps your dog develop confidence and trust. Frequent walks will help housebreak your puppy and minimize the chance of them having accidents in the house. Regular mobility, especially in older dogs, will help minimize the possibility of digestive issues and helps to regulate their digestion, so they don’t develop issues like constipation. Regular exercise is also useful as it promotes your dog being at a healthy weight, with increased agility.
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