Sounds like a given that exercise is important for your dog, right? Well according to Vetstreet, exercise is “a necessity for maintaining optimal physical and mental well-being”. Here are a few reasons why.
One of the most important things exercise does is keep your pet at a healthy weight. If your dog is overweight, it can lead to a multitude of problems:
- It can put more stress on your dog’s joints which can lead to arthritis or possibly an ACL (anterior cruciate ligament) tear. Both arthritis and an ACL tear can be painful for your furry best friend.
- Overweight dogs are more prone to heart disease and high blood pressure
- It can cause breathing problems and make your dog more susceptible of collapsing trachea and laryngeal paralysis, which can be fatal
- It may increase the risk of certain tumors, benign and cancerous
- Overweight dogs can have extra skin folds, which can cause irritation and bacterial infections
- Being overweight can take years off of your dog’s life
In a number of ways, daily exercise can help your dog’s overall behavior.
- Does your dog have anxiety? Introducing exercise into his/her daily routine stimulates the production of serotonin (the feel-good chemical) and gets rid of extra energy/tension that can ultimately help reduce issues like separation anxiety or nervous tension
- It helps your dog pursue their natural instincts. Check out a few exercises that are recommended based on breed here
- Mental stimulation which leads to good brain health
- It can help your dog become more obedient because they have less energy! They can be more focused and less spastic when they are more tuckered out
- Exercise and daily outings can help with socialization. When your dog is more socialized, chances are he will be less anxious or stressed in new environments, making the groomer, veterinarian, or trip to grandma’s more enjoyable
Regular exercise is crucial to maintaining your dog’s overall health. Exercising affects everything from your dog’s weight, to joints and skin.
- Exercise is the single most important—and easiest—thing owners can do to help maintain good joint health for their dog. Exercise helps pump synovial fluid—think of that as biological grease—into the joint to lubricate and help keep the cartilage healthy. The synovial fluid also has some pain-reduction properties which may help your dog be more willing to get outside.
- When you take your dog outside for a walk, he will also get some vitamin D from the sun! Vitamin D is good for your dog’s skin and coat health
- Regular exercise can reduce the risk of heart disease and other illnesses
- An active dog is less prone to digestive problems
- A dog that gets daily walks will be less susceptible to urinary infections. Walking stimulates urination and helps eliminating harmful bacteria before these may cause an infection
- An active dog will be less susceptible to depression and can live longer
Finding the right exercise for your dog
Because every dog is different and in a different life stage, it is important to find exercise suitable for your pup. If your dog is older and arthritic, try shorter periods of low impact exercise. If your dog is a puppy with a lot of energy, try going to a dog park so there is maximum play time and socialization.
If your dog needs a little help with anxiety on your walks, try administering PCR-rich (CBD) hemp oil 30 minutes prior to your walk. For help with joints to make your walks more enjoyable, try giving your dog a daily joint supplement with CBD to help reduce pain and inflammation.
As you can see, the benefits of exercise for your dog are bountiful. Though it can be an easy activity to skip, your dog will thank you for taking the time out of your busy schedule to better their health and well-being by giving them daily exercise.