Dogs are as much a part of the family as anyone else, but they can also become prone to similar health issues as a result of their lifestyle. Health concerns like obesity and mobility issues are a growing concern among our four-legged friends, but naturally we want nothing but the best for our pets and so it’s important to keep them healthy with plenty of exercise. Here are six reasons why you should keep your dog active, and the benefits of doing so for their health and wellbeing.
Just as with people, dogs need to exercise to retain their mobility and joint health. Exercise reduces the risk of health concerns like arthritis and hip dysplasia from developing. Joints and muscles need regular movement to stay flexible and retain strength, so keeping your dog active is key to keeping them fit and healthy throughout their life.
To Avoid Obesity
Inactive dogs can swiftly pile on the pounds, which can be damaging for their health, leading to weight-related health problems like heart disease and diabetes. Pay close attention to how much exercise your dog is getting to ensure that it’s the right amount for their breed, as too much or too little can be detrimental, especially if your dog is still a puppy. “Different breeds require different amounts of exercise” says the team at Vale Vets, “as puppies’ bodies are still developing, try to avoid any sort of rough play or strenuous exercise, such as long runs of over 2 miles”.
It Will Satisfy Their Natural Instincts
Dogs are inquisitive creatures by nature, and they’re incredibly active animals. In fact, many breeds were bred for hunting, herding, or as working dogs, so they naturally feel the urge to explore their surroundings. It’s important to let them satisfy this urge – toys will only take those instincts so far and they will challenge your dog, but letting them outside to explore properly is beneficial to their happiness and wellbeing.
It Helps to Create a Bond Between You and Your Pet
You may not realise it, but you’re the reason your dog gets up in the morning. They value the relationship they have with you as their caregiver and pack leader and neglecting a regular routine of exercise and activities together can be detrimental to their pack behaviour. If you don’t take part in an active routine with your pet, you can expect them to develop a lazy attitude which isn’t good for you or them, especially when it comes to them responding to your commands.
It Staves Off Boredom
If your dog doesn’t get plenty of attention, they’ll start to act up and find ways to entertain themselves. Your dog has a lot of energy, particularly if they’re an active breed, so they need ways to express that energy. If you don’t give them enough exercise, you might find that they start to bark or whine more, chew things or become hyperactive and unruly because they’re overexcited. By offering them some stimulation through a long walk or playing with them, they’ll be much calmer and happier.
Exercise is Great for Socialisation
Socialising is important for dogs, as they’re pack animals that need to interact with other dogs. Just like people enjoy spending time with their friends and are energised by social activities, socialisation can help to boost your dog’s mood and a walk, or a run around at the park where they can meet other dogs, is a great way of achieving two things in one.
As a dog owner, it’s vital for your pet’s physical health and mental wellbeing that they get plenty of exercise. Whether it’s through playing fetch in the garden, a long walk each day or letting them run around in social spaces like parks or beaches, there are various ways of helping your dog to lead an active lifestyle that will keep them fitter for longer and will prevent health issues from developing.