Why Exercising Your Dog is so Important
Walking the dog is great for both the human and canine participant. We as humans have the choice to go out walking whenever it suits us. Dogs are not so lucky and have to wait patiently, or in some cases impatiently, for their chance to experience the great outdoors.
Alongside the wind rushing through their ears and the opportunity to gallop freely our dogs need regular exercise to be healthy, happy and socially adept.
Physical health benefits of regular dog exercise
Dogs need to walk and run regularly to maintain physical muscle tone. The heart and lungs are kept strong by a good exercise routine.
Weight can be maintained by regular sufficient exercise. Weight gain is a severe problem in pets and causes joint and organ problems. Obese pets are so regularly seen by veterinary surgeons that many have started to introduce pet weight loss clinics.
Fitness and health are crucial to a dog's well-being. An overweight unfit dog can suffer with ligament injuries and concerns. The cruciate ligament, amongst others, can become injured more frequently due to excess weight gain.
Expend the energy!
It is unfair to expect a dog to settle down in the home if he has not been exercised. His body will be full of energy which needs to be used up. A dog with excess energy will either become bored and depressed or have no choice than to amuse himself in the home. This will lead to unhelpful behaviour.
Lack of exercise can lead to behaviour that is difficult to control. Excess barking in the home, stealing, destructive behaviour and jumping up at the family and visitors are all signs of an under exercised dog.
This lack of exercise goes hand in hand with training. It will be difficult to train any dog that is bursting with unused energy. Sufficient exercise should always be provided to the dog before any training session.
Mental health benefits of regular exercise
Getting outside to a park or country fields will stimulate a dog mentally. The nose of a dog is many hundreds of times more powerful than the human sense of smell. Getting to new areas and checking scents and disturbance in the foliage is most enjoyable for your dog.
Dogs that live with people generally do not have to work for food. The pet dog receives meals given in a bowl. They miss out on the physical hunt or scavenge for food and that energy must go somewhere for a dog to be happy. Regular sufficient exercise will allow this energy to be used up and not leave the dog with the unused energy that he could normally use for survival.
Your social canine
Socialisation is crucial for a well-rounded and happy dog. Group animals by nature dogs need to regularly interact with other dogs. An exception to this is fearful and under socialised adult dogs that do not know how to interact properly with other animals. Many dogs that are rescued need to have their contact with other dogs gradually increased. Lack of socialisation from puppyhood can leave a dog scared or fear aggressive towards other animals.
It is great fun watching your dog with his own kind and enjoying time with other dogs. So trees provide clean air, green is a relaxing colour and there is nothing like a good hike to build an appetite and prove a feeling of well-being. This coupled with a satisfied and settled dog is motivation enough to get out for a nice long walk. What are you waiting for?!