How to Exercise Your Dog & Why Exercise is Important
Have you ever wondered if dogs receive the same benefits from exercising that humans do? Have you wondered how to exercise your dog other than the boring daily walk? There are various ways to give your dog breed the proper exercise he/she needs on a daily basis. Some dogs don’t require daily exercise but it can’t hurt to ensure a solid work out every day. Many dog owners have no idea about exercising their breed, and are unaware of the importance for dogs to exercise. Large populations of dog owners wonder why their dog becomes hyper and aggressive in the evening but lays around quiet and calm all day. The reason why this happens is your dog expels no energy throughout the day, causing him/her to build up energy as the day progresses. By evening they still have not released any energy and it has to go somewhere, so they become hyper and some become destructive by chewing on couches or floors. Routine exercise is important for all dogs including those who don’t become hyper or aggressive from lack of exercise. Exercise is not only important for behavior, but it is also important for the health of your dog. Keep reading or jump ahead to – How to Exercise Your Dog
Over exercising is something all dog owners must be aware of, especially with breeds who suffer from joint issues and hip dysplasia. Our Pomeranian loves his toys. If we walk over to the toy drawer, he instantly becomes excited, running in a circle, wagging his tail, and slamming his bum to the ground showing us he is behaving and deserves to play! Sometimes he has so much energy, toy games will last over 30 minutes. At times we have played for over 30 continuous minutes and it has resulted in our dog irritating his leg. He suffers from elbow dysplasia which is caused from over exercising or if he lands on his leg in an awkward position. Without care it can become chronic, so it is something we need to watch closely. Most dogs these days have issues with dysplasia especially larger dogs. Over exercise is unhealthy and should be monitored closely.
The following covers the best and most effective ways we have found over the years for how to exercise your dog breed.
- One of the oldest ways to give your dog their daily exercise is the good old walk! Walk your dog around the yard (be careful of ticks), around the block, beach, park, anywhere! It is the most common and effective way to help release some energy your dog may be holding. But for some dogs, a walk is not enough and other forms of exercise are necessary along with a daily walk.
- Another common exercise is to keep your dog on a leash, and have them walk on the treadmill at a low speed. We find this one to be questionable as it could be dangerous for the dog if done improperly. But if Cesar Millan does it, we are okay with it as long as care, caution, and supervision is being taken at all times.
- Dog toys and games are another common and popular way to expel energy from your breed. These days there are a slew of dog toys from ropes, to balls, squeaky toys, toys that hide treats inside, to quacking ducks. You will surely be able to find something that excites your dog. But dog toys don’t always do the trick as some dogs do not become excited long enough from toys.
- We call this the nighttime flashlight frenzy. The way it works is, find the safest room in your house, preferably an open area with no sharp edges on furniture or tables. Close all of the blinds, shut the doors, and shut off the lights. Grab a flash light and turn it on. You want to use a flashlight that has a thin tight circle. Aim the flashlight on the ground in front of your dog. Your dog will become amazed at the circle and begin to follow it. You can control where the light goes, which controls where your dog goes. Try to keep the light away from anything the dog could injure themselves on. Once again, all dogs won’t respond the same way and this may not work for your dog, though we have found many dogs get a thrill from this activity. They think they can catch the light!
- Outdoor activities and dog activities are another option. Hiking, camping, fishing, sledding, fly ball, pulling, racing, rollerblading, biking, agility activities, swimming, Frisbee, weight pulling, along with others. Many of these activities would consist of the dog pulling you while you hold their leash. Something all dog owners need to realize if they haven’t yet is that dog’s minds can be worked with new events or problem solving just like their bodies with physical work. Through thinking and solving problems their minds are hard at work which helps calm them as the day progresses. Even though fishing and camping may not be strenuous activity, the practice of bringing your dog somewhere unknown, and having them experience something new, gets their minds going and will help with expelling energy.
- Meet new dogs! Just by meeting new dogs, your dog will become excited, even if they don’t show body language, their minds are excited. Visit dog parks; go to local pet expos, pet shows, dog walkathons, and events. Be careful with parks as they can be unsanitary. Studies have shown many dogs catch illnesses at parks that are uncleanly.
How to Exercise Your Dog
After all is said and done, you want to test your dog to really see if they have gotten the proper amount of exercise. The easiest way to do that is by performing your routine evening activity. If that consists of hoping on the couch with a cup of tea and watching TV, then do exactly that. Examine what your dog is doing versus what he/she normally does. If they usually are running in circles, barking out the window, or begging you to play toy games, but now are lying by your side breathing calmly and sitting still, you can safely assume they received the exercise they needed and are content.
You can also attempt to excite them again and examine their reaction. For example, as I said before, our Pomeranian, Teddy, goes crazy for his toys. When he is truly tired and out of energy, we will take out a toy, he will become excited, and then we will throw the toy. He reacts by running after it, then a quarter of the way there he stops and comes back. This confirms to us that he is tired. Once again, you must be careful because some dogs don’t know what stop means. They may play constantly until you stop which can cause problems for the dog so use your best judgment. If your dog has been exercising for an hour straight it is probably a good idea to give the dog some water and a break before continuing if you feel they can continue.
The next time you or someone you know wonders why their dog is wild especially in the evenings, you now know how to exercise your dog properly! We hope this will help all of our fellow dog owners to enjoy a calm and relaxing evening with their dog by their side, the way it should be!
Dog Lover Store
August 5th, 2011
How to Exercise Your Dog