Dogs are much simpler than humans. They are guided by basic life needs: food, activity, and socializing. Dogs also benefit from a healthy lifestyle. Because they are prone to physical activity, it will not be difficult to persuade your dog to exercise. Dogs like to walk, run and jump, so the first and foremost thing every owner should do is walk their pet a few times a day for at least half an hour. When you add playtime to his schedule, you’ve already done a lot for the health of your pet. Regular physical activity means a lot to the dog’s health, as well as its mental state. Active dogs rarely get bored at home because they are consuming excess energy.
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The importance of exercise
Exercising not only affects the physical state but all other organ systems of dogs. Regular physical activity is primarily reflected in the strengthening of motor skills, the increase in strength, the increase in the elasticity of the ligaments, and the strengthening and increase in muscle mass. Also, physical activity increases dogs’ chest size, improves the function of the lungs and the heart, and increases appetite, as well as metabolism. By enhancing physical fitness, we make the necessary preconditions for the full functioning of all organs. It has a positive effect on the expression and development of motor abilities.
Does exercising affect the mental health of the dog?
Physical activity helps to maintain the condition of the dog, stimulates blood flow and circulation, and at the same time prevents boredom. It will prevent any unusual behavior and make your dog satisfied, happy and approachable. It also improves sleep quality, and dogs who exercise more will have better sleep. You wouldn’t want your dog to chew the furniture or bark continuously in the middle of the night, would you? Research has confirmed that regular physical activity can improve the mental health of the dog and reduce some forms of behavior such as fear, restlessness, nervousness, irritability, etc.
In addition to physical activity, the dog needs to engage the brain too. This means that each time you set a harder task than the previous one, you can take advantage of his mental potential. Often we notice that most owners demand little from their pets: they teach them one thing and don’t ask for more. They don’t let the dog learn anything new. Therefore, it’s critical that besides physical activity we try to teach our dog some new tricks every now and then.
The right amount of exercise
How much exercise a dog needs depends on several factors. It won’t surprise you to hear that breed plays a big role in how much exercise your adult dog needs. While age and health are the two biggest factors to consider, the breed is an indication of their general activity level. You cannot keep a breed, that is predetermined to run five miles a day, in the apartment all the time and expect everything to be fine. If your dog destroys things, he’s telling you he is bored. Chewing the furniture or running around the table are signals that he needs more activities.
If you’re dealing with puppies, you should know that they have a lot of energy, but wear out quickly. They don’t need as much exercise as an adult dog. They’re constantly growing and nap a lot, so be ready for shorter bursts of energy from your puppy.
In general, an adult dog needs 60-90 minutes of exercise per day. You should concentrate on harder exercises like running, playtime with other dogs, or a hike.
As dogs age, they may tire more quickly on walks. The senior pups might not move as fast or far as they used to, but exercise is still a vital part of their everyday routine. However, their exercises should be greatly reduced in terms of effort. They may involve running, walking, walking down a staircase, etc. Generally, senior dogs need about 30-60 minutes of exercise a day.
Where to get exercise
Even though they like the routine, a little variety in the schedule will greatly benefit your dog. They use their senses to get to know the neighborhood during walks and to check on their favorite spots. Parks are popular places to let your dog play with other dogs. Just be cautious – not all dogs get along nicely with others. If your dog is aggressive then the park is definitely not the place for him. You could also let your dog play in the backyard. You can even set up an invisible dog fence to ensure he stays in the area. Dog fences are relatively inexpensive and your dog can’t jump over or dig under them.
Give your dog enough time to rest
With the appropriate amount of physical activity, the dog should have enough time for rest and relaxation. Though they are social beings and highly attached to humans, dogs also want to spend some time alone. Give your dog at least an hour of rest every day and do not force him to do activities if he is not interested. In order to keep the dog away from stress and anxiety, provide him with a normal daily rhythm. The animals are creatures of routine and are happiest when they have a specific schedule. So, maintain your dog’s daily routines (for example, walks and meals at the same time of day) as much as possible.
The easiest way to find out which exercise is best for a dog is to try out as many activities as possible and choose what he likes most. Start with lighter exercises and always pay attention to whether it is okay with the dog. Pets are equally subject to dehydration, injuries, and other things that may occur during physical activity. It is advisable to consult a veterinarian because the most suitable activities depend on his age and breed, and it is also important to know the pet’s limitations. With proper care, your pet will be happy and satisfied, which will definitely reflect on its overall physical and mental condition. Remember: create the right conditions for your dog and make sure to meet his needs. Only after that, he’ll become your best friend.