The Importance of Exercise for Your Dog

Dogs ExercisingOne of the good habits I developed thanks to my dogs is the value of exercise. Before getting my dogs, I got back to the habit of being sedentary. Often after coming home from the office, I just think about getting some rest, watching TV and sitting around the computer or reading a book.

Things changed when I got dogs. The one thing about having dogs is you become more responsible. They’re like your babies and looking after them is one of the things that comes with owning them.

Thanks to my dogs, I’ve gone out more regularly. I take them for regular walks. We also enjoy time at the park or play catch in the backyard. They’re great and the best thing about playing and exercising with my dogs is that I feel much more energized after to do other things. This helps me become more productive.

When it comes of physical activity, dogs are just like human beings, they need to exercise and spend a certain portion of their time being active.

In fact, letting your dog exercise actually helps them be healthier in a lot of different ways.

1. Exercise helps dogs keep their weight down

One of the things I’ve always had problems when it comes to my dogs is that I spoil them. They pretty much get anything they want, including food. As a result, all except two of the dogs I’ve ever owned are overweight, at least according to the vet. Giving them a regular exercise regimen helps control their weight much like it does help us keep the pounds off.

2. The don’t behave as badly when they’re allowed to exercise regularly

One thing I noticed after I gave more exercise time to my dogs is that they had less behavioral problems. This reduced the hyperactive behavior like barking or chewing on fabric or other household items.

They became less listless and were better behaved overall. Try it.

3. Exercise helps keep them healthy and works their muscles

Much like people, dogs need to exercise to keep their limbs, muscles and bones strong. When they sit around they become fat and less agile. Over time they walk slower become less active. Allowing them to run and jump keeps them in their natural flow. That’s what they were made to do.

4. Taking time to exercise with them builds your bond with them

Let’s face it, some owners are much closer with their dogs while others just aren’t. There’s a reason for this and that’s because they spend time with them. Dogs are a lot like people, the relationship needs nurturing. This is why spending time them builds their trust as well as a bond that only you can have with them.

Getting in Shape with Your Dog

As we get older, our body’s metabolism slows down. To add to that, we engage is less physical activity as we move from playing to studying to working. By the time we graduate from college, most of our time will be spent at the office and almost no time doing physical activity.

Of course you can go get a gym membership or buy expensive workout equipment. But exercise need not be limited to the traditional ‘working out’.

In its most simple form getting in shape and going back to fitness can be as little as getting daily brisk walks or running. You won’t need any equipment making it cost effective.

A more fun and rewarding way is to get a dog. Yes, dogs aren’t just companions but they’re also great for our health.

Exercise with Your DogLike dogs we need regular exercise, you can run, jump or just walk with your dog. They need the exercise and so do we too. Plus, we have a much more fun time getting in the exercise compared to just running on the treadmill for hours.

You don’t need to do a lot of very intensive exercises. Simple walks around the neighborhood blocks regularly does the job. In fact medical researchers have proved that dog owners who took their dogs out for walks covered more walking distance regularly compared to those who didn’t own dogs.

There’s no need to do anything like P90X or Vert Shock jumping which are both high intensity workouts for athletes, regular walks and playing with them covers more than what we need. Plus, they’re more fun.

Walking Your Dog

The great thing about walking your dog is that they are natural energy boosters and act as your cheerleaders. They motivate you to go further because they like to enjoy the outdoors.

Aim for 20 minutes daily. You can mix up the walking pace, the distances and where you walk.

Walking is a great way to burn calories and can burn as much as 300 calories. This makes for a nice way to get yourself fit.

Playing with Your Dog

Physical activity need not be limited to walking your dog. You can play with them, run, jump or play catch. A quick game of catch is also one of my favorites this not only lets them use their burst of speed but also builds your relationship with them.

Exercise Tips with You Pet

1. Keep hydrated. Don’t forget to drink fluids, specially water. Both you and your dog need to be well hydrated. The hotter the weather the more you need to make sure you get enough water to combat dehydration.

2. Choose the right type of exercise. Always be safe. This again, goes for both pet and owner. Don’t play or do activities in terrain that may be slippery or jagged. This may hurt one or both of you. Choose somewhere that’s pet friendly so they don’t get hurt.

3. Lastly, be sure to go by the vet before doing any strenuous exercise with you pet. Know what type of exercise your breed is made for. Some breeds are great for big outdoor spaces while others feel better in smaller areas. Don’t forget to have the vet check your pet too. This is just a safety check to rule out any heart conditions or joint issues that may get in the way or get aggravated. When you get the go signal from your vet, then you’re go to go.