Dogs have lots of energy that they want to use with their human companions. If you, as their owner, engage them with plenty of exercise, you’ll have a healthy, happy pet. Dogs that are exercised regularly have fewer behavior problems, fewer GI problems, a healthy weight, and love to snuggle up with their owners.
How Much Exercise Does My Dog Need?
Unlike people, who are urged to get at least an hour of low- to medium-impact exercise every day, dogs don’t require a certain amount of time. Here are some general guidelines:
- It depends on the dog. Some dog breeds are known for being very active, such as Labrador Retrievers, Golden Retrievers, Dalmatians, Jack Russell Terriers, and German Shepherds. Generally, smaller dogs need less exercise, but there are still small dogs who love more. Also, consider the age of your dog. Puppies and younger dogs require more exercise than older dogs.
- It depends on the dog’s behavior. Your dog may not be getting enough play time if he’s exhibiting behavior that includes chewing on objects in your house, continually getting excited as soon as he sees someone, or lots of barking.
- It depends on the owner’s behavior. Many people come home after a day at work and think, “I’m tired, and I’m just going to sit on the couch with my dog. I’ll walk her tomorrow.” Before you know it, it’s the end of the week, and your dog still hasn’t exercised. This is one of the reasons that more than half of all dogs are overweight. Build in some time every day where you and your dog can play.
Signs That Your Dog Doesn’t Get Enough Exercise
Since there are no hard and fast rules about how much exercise your dog should get, how do you know what they require? Your dog will actually give you signs. When you leave the house, do you come back to a mess, like overturned garbage cans and chewed-on furniture? Those are signs of a dog who should be exercising more. Dogs may also jump on people or other dogs, barking continuously, or roam around your home at night.
How Can I Get My Dog to Exercise More?
It’s your job as the owner to make sure your pet is getting enough exercise and is reaping the many benefits of active play. Aim for at least 30 minutes of exercise, twice a day, with your dog. When the weather’s nice, go outside for a walk or jog. Throw a ball to your furry companion. Play hide and seek. Visit a local dog park. If you have kids, get them involved, too – they have endless amounts of energy. Your dog will get lots of exercise, and so will you.
If you have any questions about your dog’s level of activity, give the veterinarians at Animal Medical Center of Streetsboro a call. We serve the Streetsboro, Aurora, Akron, Canton, Cuyahoga Falls, Hudson, Kent, Mantua, Ravenna, and Twinsburg areas.