When we think of exercise, it usually involves motivation (or lack thereof), sweat and sometimes tears. Whereas, for your dog exercise is a crucial part of their daily routine and a way of harnessing their bundles of energy.
Often many behavioural problems can result from a lack of exercise, such as destructive chewing, hyperactivity and barking. However, they are completely preventable! Inactive dogs aren’t happy dogs as they crave stimulation and attention, but by including simple forms of exercise in their routines it can have drastically positive effects on their behaviour.
What is a healthy amount of exercise for my dog?
The amount of exercise your dog requires depends on their breed, age and health. Smaller breeds, such as Pugs and Bichon Frises should be exercised for roughly 20 minutes a day, whereas larger breeds such as German Shepherds and Labradors should be exercised for around 2 hours each day.
Most dogs will benefit greatly from heard aerobic exercise each day, which can be achieved by activities such as fetch, running and swimming. Choose the activity based on your dog’s interests, for example: instead of walking your dog, let your dog walk you; their nose will determine your root and will stimulate their sense of smell.
If you are concerned about your dog’s response to exercise then contact your local Medivet practice. If your dog has a pre-existing health condition then it is also advisable to speak to your vet about what is a healthy amount of exercise for them.
What are the benefits of exercise?
Keeping your dog active and healthy will have a remarkable effect on their behaviour, as well as many other benefits.
By getting rid of some of their energy, common behavioural problems stemming from inactivity will be reduced. You should see a fall in their excessive chewing, barking and digging for example.
An active dog will also have a reduced risk of developing diabetes, respiratory disease and heart disease. Also, regular exercise eases common orthopaedic problems such as hip dysplasia and arthritis.
Exercising your dog will have a beneficial effect on their digestive system, as it keeps their metabolism moving and relieves constipation.
According to the PDSA, the most common cause of obesity in dogs, which is of high concern to vet professionals, is lack of exercise. So by increasing the level of exercise in your dog’s routine, you could be preventing various health issues associated with obesity.
What are the best places to exercise with your dog in the UK?
In the countryside:
By the beach:
Remember when walking your dog to carry plastic bags with you to clean up after them, and to take water with you on longer walks.