Exercising with your pet
Dog exercise is highly recommended and has plenty of health benefits. Your dog will feel good, have a healthy weight and display an exemplary behavior. All you need to do is make sure he gets enough exercise. Your dog can get exercise in a number of ways: walking, jogging, playing outdoors or, if you don't have the time and space, indoors-possibly with the use of treadmills and other exercise devices intended for dogs.
One of the main advantages of regular dog exercise is maintaining your pet's health.
- Regular exercise can reduce the risk of heart disease and other illnesses.
- An active dog will have less digestive problems (assuming he isn't being fed food allergens).
- A dog who gets daily walks will be less susceptible to urinary infections: walking stimulates urination and helps eliminating harmful bacteria before these may cause an infection.
- An active dog will be less susceptible to depression and will live longer.
- Exercise reduces stress and will give your dog a good rest.
If your dog gets plenty of exercise, he won't be an obese dog.
- Overweight dogs are less active and are more prone to heart diseases and depression.
- Obese dogs are more likely to have arthritis and may develop diabetes.
- Maintaining a healthy weight is important for your dog's well being and this is why you should make them exercise.
Minimize Unwanted Dog Behavior
Dogs like to chew and dig. Most of the time, they do these activities out of boredom and because they have plenty of energy to spend. If you focus your dog's energy towards exercise, he is less likely to chew or dig. Make sure the activities you offer are challenging so that your dog doesn't get bored. A dog that performs daily exercise will bark less and will be less hyperactive.
Build Up Confidence
As with humans, regular exercise will improve your dog's confidence and reduce his anxiety. If you have a shy dog, you can help him by offering the right amount of exercise every day. He will start being more outgoing and happy.
How Much Exercise Is Enough?
The amount of exercise a dog needs varies according to the size and the breed of the dog. Larger breeds need a lot of motion-at least 40 minutes of moderate to intensive cardio a day (though you shouldn't push an old-aged or overweight dog beyond his limits). Walking is healthy, but larger dogs also need some more alert movement. Use exercises such a ball and Frisbee throwing or the indoor dog treadmill. Smaller breeds should get 20 to 30 minutes of workout and 2 to 3 walks per day. However, some smaller breeds such as the Terrier may be more active and need more exercise. After each exercise session your dog will need hydration and a bit of rest. It is important that you stimulate your dog with motivating activities to make him exercise. Take your dog with you while you jog or bike and this will help you both stay healthy.