If your dog is constantly getting into things, you might wonder if the problem is a lack of exercise. And most likely you would be right. Dogs need plenty of mental and physical stimulation. Young dogs have even more energy to burn. It doesn’t matter if your dog is large or small, you need to make sure they get plenty of exercise. Your dog will be healthier and better-behaved. Because, as the day goes, a tired pup is a good pup. This article will explore canine exercise and how to know if your good boy, or girl, is getting enough fun time.
Signs Your Dog Isn’t Getting Enough Exercise
It isn’t that difficult to determine if your pup needs more physical stimulation in his life. And if he isn’t, it’s going to come out in annoying ways. And fifteen minutes of playtime in the back yard isn’t enough. But it isn’t tough to get him on a path to better behavior and health. There’s an added benefit too. It’s good for your health as well! It’s a win-win when you invest more time with your dog outdoors.
These are some giveaway behaviors that your dog needs more exercise:
- Barking and whining for attention
- Weight gain
- Low stamina
- Wandering from room to room
- Having “accidents” in the house
- Over excited when people visit, jumping on them and being annoying
- Destructive, chews items (shoes, furniture), digs in the yard
- Getting into the trash
- Escapes whenever possible
- Displaying aggression to people and other pets
- May become withdrawn (make a veterinary appointment to make sure he isn’t ill)
- Runs along the fence barking at all passersby
Benefits Of Exercise
Exercise will help your dog stay physically healthy. Your dog’s muscles, joints, and heart need exercise to work properly. Plus, dogs that exercise have lower levels of stress and are mentally stimulated. And as long as calories are kept in a normal range, your dog will maintain a good weight which plays into overall physical health.
How Much Exercise Does Your Dog Need
The exercise needs of dogs will differ depending on age, breed, and health of your pooch.
Puppies (less than 6 months of age) Puppies are bundles of energy and they burn lots of energy just doing puppy things throughout the day. A walk and time for play will probably be enough for these guys. You’ll want to avoid strenuous exercise as their little bodies aren’t ready for it and you could do more harm than good. This is especially true for large breeds. Ask your veterinarian for guidance in exercise for a puppy.
Healthy Adult Dogs Their exercise needs will depend on their breed.
Non-sporting, sporting, working dogs (Dalmatians, German Short-haired Pointers, Huskies etc.) have energy that can range from low to high, usually with a work drive from medium to high. One to two hours of exercise each day is often enough to keep these dogs happy. Though some will want even more.
Herding Dogs, Hounds, Terriers (Australian Shepherds, Beagles, Jack Russell Terriers, etc.) usually have energy levels that are medium to high and a high work drive. These dogs need three to four hours of work to tire them out. You can’t put these dogs on a couch and expect them to be happy. These dogs love to work and need jobs to do.
Brachycephalic breeds (Pugs, English Bulldogs, Boxers, any dog with a short, pushed in snout) energy ranges from low to high levels. Because of their anatomy, they should exercise for 20 – 30 minutes at a time. Make sure they have plenty of water available and watch for signs of overheating.
Toy Breeds (Pomeranians, Poodles, Shih Tzus, etc.) usually have energy levels in the low to medium range with only a modest work drive. These little dogs should be fine with about 30 minutes of exercise.
Senior dogs their energy levels can be low or high, but you must factor in their age and health for a sensible plan. Take it slow and watch for exhaustion. Keep in mind that senior joints can be at risk for strain and arthritis can cause your senior pain. It’s always a good idea to involve your veterinarian when considering how best to give your senior some exercise.
Know Your Dog’s Limits
When you begin an exercise program for your dog, let him set the pace. You want to build up his stamina, not try to win a marathon on the first day. Don’t exercise in the hottest daily temperatures, especially for dogs with short muzzles (Pugs, Bulldogs, etc.). Take breaks and have plenty of water. Watch for exhaustion and don’t over push your pal.
Ways To Increase Your Dog’s Exercise
Some way to exercise your dog include:
- Doggy Daycare
- Dog Parks
- Interactive Toys
- Flirt Pole
- Dog Sports
Exercise is an important part of a dog’s physical and mental health. Without giving your dog time to play and time to work off his energy through a good exercise program, he will find his own creative outlet for his excess energy. Which will probably include things like destroying items in your home. It isn’t difficult to find something you and your dog will enjoy doing together and the exercise will benefit both of you. Don’t let your good boy become a household terror over pent up energy that can provide a lot of fun instead of destruction to your home and happiness.