Regardless of the size of the dog who is a member of your family and whether they are old or young, exercise is crucial. Some breeds have special requirements, but every dog needs some level of exercise to live life to the full.
Why is Exercise Important?
If a dog doesn’t get activity, it can get bored and frustrated. It can also become unhealthy, and this can have an effect on lifespan. Just like in humans, exercise gets muscles into tone, forces the metabolic system into action and even gets the mind going. Humans like to go jogging, swimming take a ride on their favorite bike on jump on their longboard deck. Dogs like to run, walk, sniff and investigate.
But can your dog have too much exercise? The average recommended is between 30 minutes and two hours activity each day. Hunting dogs or those that work or herd (Labrador, retrievers, collies, for example, ) will be at the highest end of the scale. These dogs need 30 minutes strenuous activity following by 1-2 hours of general exercise.
Mixed breed dogs can be a little more complicated to categorised. A short nosed breed such as a Bulldog doesn’t need a huge amount of exercise, and a walk around the neighbourhood should do the job.
Dog body language
Often your dog will tell you when he is ready to go for a walk or when he’s had enough. Learn to read his body language so that if he is lying around and showing no interest in going out, he probably just needs a short walk. But if he is pacing about and raring to go, he’s got lots of energy to use and will be up for a long walk.
As dogs get older, they experience health conditions just like humans. Achy joints and muscles or a bit too much weight can all slow a dog down so take these things into consideration. Just like we all get older and haven’t got as much energy, neither has your dog.
If you are very concerned about getting the right balance of exercise for your dog, you can always consult a vet who will give you an exercise plan personalised to your canine friend.
Physical exercise is vital but so it mental stimulation. When you go out for a walk, don’t always follow the same paths or take along a toy to break up the routine, perhaps even playing a game as you go. Dogs can get bored with the same scenery just as humans can so to keep him interested and alert, don’t forget to mix it up.
The fact that a fit dog is a happy dog isn’t just a cute idea, it’s a fact. When we exercise, we get the body working to its maximum and feel better for it, and the same applies to our dogs. They need the exercise for their brains, as well as their bodies, and by keeping them active, they can live a long and happy life with you.