The Benefits of Exercise for Your Dog

Exercising has many benefits for your dog. Today, we'll tell you about the mental and physical benefits of exercise for your dog. 
The Benefits of Exercise for Your Dog

Last update: 22 May, 2019

Making sure your dog gets enough physical activity is one of the most important things you can do to keep your dog happy and healthy. Today, we’ll tell you about the mental and physical benefits of exercise for your dog.

The benefits of exercise – keep your dog happy and healthy

All dogs need to do daily physical activity, ensuring, of course, that their exercise regime is specially tailored to their particular breed, age etc.

It’s also good to consult with a vet, who can give your dog a check-up, make sure it’s in good physical condition, and recommend how much exercise it needs.

While the best option is for you to exercise your pet yourself, if you can’t, there are other options, such as:

  • Joining a doggy gym
  • Paying a dog walker
  • Signing up for agility classes or other canine sports

This way you can make sure your four-legged friend stays happy and healthy.

Exercising has many benefits for your dog. Daily physical activity will help your dog stay mentally and physically healthy.

The importance of exercise for your dog

A dog on a jog.

To begin to understand the benefits physical activity will have for your pet, you simply need to consider how dangerous a sedentary lifestyle can be. An animal that doesn’t do enough exercise is at serious risk of becoming overweight. This, in turn, comes with a whole host of dangerous consequences, including:

  • Arthritis
  • Diabetes
  • Cardiac and respiratory issues

In addition to that, dogs that don’t get a sufficient amount of exercise also tend to have behavioral issues. For example, they might break things, or start to go to the toilet inside the house. A lack of exercise can even cause psychological issues, such as:

  • Depression
  • Stress
  • Anxiety
  • Apathy
  • Aggression

Other benefits of exercise for your dog

The list of benefits of exercise is far more extensive. For example, it will:

  • Strengthen bones and joints
  • Improve cardiovascular function
  • Improve obedience
  • They’ll sleep better and more deeply through the night
  • You’ll get to know your dog better (as long as you are the one exercising it)
  • It’ll be more sociable with other dogs and people
  • Reduced attention-seeking behavior, such as barking and whining
  • Develop cognitive ability

Exercise with your dog

Taking your dog out for a long walk is always a good option. But it isn’t the only one.

Beyond simply allowing your dog off the leash, letting it run around wherever it likes and occasionally throwing objects for it to chase and bring back to you, why not consider going for a run together? Or why not let it run alongside you as you ride your bike, or even roller-skates?

Whatever you decide, make sure you have enough water to keep your dog well-hydrated. And make sure to keep an eye out for any signs of exhaustion or fatigue.

Advice for exercising with your dog

A dog on a yoga mat.

If you want to exercise with your dog, you might want to keep the following tips in mind:

  • We would recommend running on surfaces such as sand, as materials like cement can hurt your dog’s paws. It’s best to run for a maximum of around 20 minutes.
  • If you like going for a nice relaxing walk with your dog, it should be for a minimum of 20 minutes, and a maximum of 2 hours a day. However, this can vary, depending on breed and age.
  • Throw-toys are great for hyperactive dogs that have a tendency to destroy things.
  • Swimming is also a great option for dogs. As well as being an excellent form of exercise, most dogs absolutely love it.

So, make sure you and your dog do some kind of exercise. You’ll see how quickly it will make you both feel happier and healthier.

If you have any doubts when it comes to exercising your pet, you can always consult with your vet.

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The contents of My Animals are written for informational purposes. They can't replace the diagnosis, advice, or treatment from a professional. In the case of any doubt, it's best to consult a trusted specialist.