Benefits of Exercising Your Dog

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exercising your dogBased on numerous scientific studies, we have all heard about the health benefits that humans gain from exercising.  Well, exercising your dog can provide the same benefits to him or her as humans gain.  We all tend to think of the physical benefits which include:

  • Stronger heart and lungs
  • Better muscle tone
  • Boost in energy
  • Improve oxygen and nutrient circulation
  • Better sleep
  • Improve joint mobility
  • Better digestion
  • Weight Control

What some might not realize is that exercising your dog can also help with the not so fun behaviors that some of our dogs have.  Dogs are so domesticated now that we sometimes forget that most of them were bred to perform active tasks to work along side humans, such as hunting, herding livestock, and rescues.  Most pet dogs now are a  companion and aren’t performing those active tasks they were bred for.  However, instinctively they still need to be active and need to release their energy somehow.  Built up energy can lead to behavior problems which include:

  • Destructive chewing, digging or scratching
  • Getting in to things
  • Restlessness
  • Jumping up on people
  • Excessive barking and whining
  • Not listening

Exercising your dog can help release excess energy and possibly help curb the above behaviors – healthy dogs are happy dogs!

Keep in mind, before running out there and exercising your dog that all dogs are different.  They require different exercise programs just like we do.  Consult your vet for a program that is age and breed appropriate.  For example, puppies bones are still developing until about 18 months of age.  So you don’t want to take them on long runs during that period for developmental reasons.  Also, exercise doesn’t have to mean walking or running all the time.  Playing Frisbee, throwing the ball, or having them jump over things, all contributes to exercising your dog.  Find a program that is rewarding to both you and your dog.

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