Just like us, our dogs need love and care, a suitable home, a nutritious diet, and a healthy lifestyle. One vital ingredient for dogs to become physically fit is exercise.
Dogs should have their daily exercise to release pent-up energy. An increase in physical activity will make your pets mentally healthy, and will reduce some behaviors manifested when they get bored and agitated. Some dogs are naturally hyperactive, and the lack of exercise may make them destructive.
Below are examples of how couch potato dogs may act and behave:
- They may go on barking without reason. Frequent and excessive barking is a sign that your pet needs attention or is trying to get your attention.
- When they become restless, your dogs may find the need to roam around the house and dig through dirt. It may be normal for dogs to do some digging, but this must be controlled. Your dog needs to be corrected while still on the act of digging.
- Chewing has a calming effect on dogs especially on puppies, but this behavior can get out of hand and land your dogs on things it shouldn’t be setting its teeth on. Your pet may accidentally chew on your socks, ties or ribbons, all of which may be hazardous when swallowed as these can block their intestines.
- Your dog may go as far as jumping on other people when agitated. This is quite alarming because your dog can easily bite somebody.
- The extra energy may result to your dog knocking down your furniture.
Let’s not turn our pets into beasts. It is our responsibility to keep them safe. In this manner, they can live longer, happier and healthier lives.
Common Exercises and Tricks for Dogs
Taking your dog for a walk is one of the easiest exercise routines that you can start. Walking is one of the best and most effective workouts that both humans and dogs can greatly benefit from. It is free, fun and does not even require any special tools.
This exercise is enough to help reduce the risk of developing chronic diseases. Another benefit dogs can get from walking is better weight management. Just like in humans, obesity in canines is not healthy. This simple exercise can even ward off constipation.
You may choose a course to follow or let your dog lead the way – either way is enjoyable. Running is another good exercise, but this kind of high-intensity activity may not be applicable for all dogs.
True, running can be fun but be warned that you may be leading your dogs to a high risk of injuries. The reason behind this is that your dogs are barefoot, which means that their paws and feet may easily get hurt. If not done properly, the activity may pose more stress on the dog’s body.
Dogs are innate swimmers. However, while some dog breeds have a strong inclination to water, others are not drawn to it. This is another perfect exercise that you and your pet may enjoy doing together, and it is not as stressful to the body as running. This is highly recommended for elderly dogs to remain active.
This kind of activity requires quite a lot of energy. When playing this game, you can either keep your dog on a 6-foot leash or let him off the leash depending on your pet’s attentiveness. All you need to do is just let your pets fetch things you want to toss at them, then hand them treats if they catch the object.
This form of exercise is perfect outdoors, but it is also great indoors especially if the weather does not permit going out.
This is an excellent exercise for hyperactive dogs, and is guaranteed to exhaust them after the game. Dogs under a year old must not be engaged in this activity to avoid injury and damage to the body brought about by excessive running and jumping.
In addition, flyball has become a team sport in many areas participated by teams of dogs with their respective handlers. In this sport, the dogs race to catch the ball in the least amount of time to win the game.
Canines are born with a keen sense of smell, which makes them naturally good hunters. You probably see your pet sniffing around things, and that’s because dogs are usually led by their noses. This is the reason why dogs are being used in police work.
This natural instinct can be turned into a fun activity with your pet. You may use this activity to treat dogs with behavioral problems and health issues, since it is an excellent avenue for dogs from all ages and health conditions to channel their extra energy.
Dog exercises don’t necessarily need to be exclusively about brawns. You may use brain games and exercises to enhahce your pet’s intelligence and boost their confidence. Brain exercises may come in many forms, some of which include hide-and-go-seek, red light green light, ring stackers, treasure hunt, pick up toy game, and jumping rope, to name a few.
Simply put, let your dog play with others. No matter how domesticated our pets are, we have to admit that there is a language that only dogs can understand best.
It’s easy to get carried away when it comes to dog exercises. As the owner, you need to take note of these tips:
- Always consult the veterinarian before starting any regimen with your pet.
- Always set the limits. You make the rules.
- Consider the weather before engaging in any activity to ensure safety.
- Always choose exercises that are age-appropriate to avoid injuries. Know the right time to start exercising your dog. For example, the use of stairs in exercising is not suited for puppies under 3 months old, while some exercises become too much to handle for elderly dogs and may hurt them physically.
- Dogs don’t mind routine but a little variation can be fun for the both of you.
- Dogs are so much like their exercise buddies (that’s you!). Remember that too much and too little are both bad for the health.
- If you bring your dog for a swim, always ensure that the water is clean. If you opt for a fresh water splash, make sure that it should be free from algae growth and bacteria.
- In the event you let your pets go swimming in the pool, it is crucial that you rinse them with running water to rid of the chlorine that may cause skin irritations.
- Always check the condition of your pet after exercising because he may have bruised his paw pads or gotten blisters on them.
In many ways, dogs are so much like us, and we may even share similar illnesses and diseases. As responsible owners, let us help our canine friend stay in shape.