Exercise and Health
The importance of dog exercise cannot be overstated. Proper exercise is needed for the dog’s mind and body to function at their very best. Dogs that exercise live longer, healthier lives. They also are less susceptible to becoming depressed.
Obesity has become a major health problem with today’s dogs. Overweight dogs make up 20 to 40 percent of all dogs seen by veterinarians in the United States. Many of these can be labeled clinically obese. When a dog is obese, it prevents them from enjoying many physical activities. Obesity makes dealing with hot weather more difficult.
Joints that have too much weight on them often become arthritic and torn ligaments happen more easily. Cardiac problems, difficulty breathing, skin problems and an increase in cancer risk happens more frequently with obese dogs.
When dogs don’t have enough exercise, they can become bored. It has been said, “A tired puppy is a good puppy!”
This is because by their very nature, dogs are meant to be active. Wolves, the ancestors of dogs had to cover miles and miles of terrain daily looking for food. Staying sedentary on the sofa was not the life that your dog was meant to live.
No matter if your dog is big or small, young or old, he or she needs to exercise daily. When your dog exercises, his muscles are toned, his body and metabolic system are able to function optimally and his mind becomes engaged. Destructive behaviors often happen as a result of not enough exercise.
Your dog’s exercise needs should be based upon his age, breed, size and overall health. On a daily basis, most dogs need a minimum of 30 minutes of rigorous exercise. It is a good idea to ask your veterinarian for a recommendation of an exercise plan that is designed for your dog’s age, breed and physical condition.
A nice daily walk is good for both you and your dog. On a daily walk, your dog will learn discipline in addition to using up his energy reserves, as you teach him to walk with you and not ahead of you.
For times when going outside for a walk or a romp is not practical, having dog exercise equipment can be one of the best ways to exercise. A dog treadmill is one great example. Dog treadmills give your pooch the opportunity to enjoy a nice walk, no matter the weather.
A large exercise ball can also be helpful, as they help strengthen your dog’s core, and improve her balance and control.
Having an obstacle course that your dog can navigate is a great way to stimulate your dog’s mind and body and is one of the most fun ways to exercise your dog. With an obstacle course, your dog gets to run over and under obstacles and jump through objects. Having your dog run an obstacle course is a great way to get your dog started with agility training, making him happier, healthier and smarter.
Particularly if you have a high-strung dog, fitting them with a weighted dog vest may be especially beneficial. It is a great form of exercise that will make your dog stronger, calmer and more manageable. Weighted vests add extra pounds, putting more force on the body during exercises or walking.
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