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Why Dog Exercise is Actually Good for You

Anyone that owns a dog knows that getting them proper exercise, socialization and play time is key to a happy life. Dog exercise is actually good for its owners as well. It is our responsibility to ensure our pets receive what they need.

dog exercise

photo credit: bullcitydogs via photopin cc

Dogs are not meant to be tossed out in the back yard and ignored. They need stimulation and exercise to remain healthy. A ten minute walk around the block is okay, but not nearly enough for most breeds.

Most dogs can use a good 30 minutes of real exercise as a minimum each day. Larger dogs and those with higher energy levels will need more to keep them healthy and happy. In addition to the daily walks and the throwing of a ball, dogs need to be able to play hard every once and awhile.

Dogs are natural pack animals and generally speaking do well with other dogs. A dog really gets its work out is when it gets to… well be a dog. Providing dog exercise with other dogs every once in a while will help in many ways. Even dogs that may not be so social can benefit for good hard off leash fun.

Some Benefits include:

1. Socialization – even if you take your dog to every store or restaurant that may allow them. That does not make up for the good old fashion butt sniffing fun they can have together with other dogs. No matter the size or breed, or fear the owner may have, generally dogs can hold their own and play well with others. Many times they play better than their owners.

2. Healthy – you know how good you feel after a good work out. Okay maybe not the best example for some, but regardless. Exercise gets the joints and muscles moving. Dog exercise can be beneficial for them as well. It will increase their heart rate and move more (many times their owner too). This in turn can reduce obesity, heart issues and many other problems just as in their owners.

3. Energy – Dog that are cooped up in a house, back yard, or kennel all day have energy to burn. Many people come home from work tired and the last thing they want to do is take the dog out to run and play. This excessive pent-up energy can turn into behavioral problems that would not otherwise exist. Some dog owners think their dogs are destructive, stubborn, hyper, dumb or worse and many times these symptoms are all due to not enough exercise to burn off their energy.

4. Temperament – do you know a person that is a recluse, a bit odd, maybe they work in IT (I do so I can poke fun) and they are snappy or always seem angry or mad. Well dogs can behave in similar ways. Some people tend to latch on to breed specifics here, and well I won’t because they are just plain wrong. Any dog, of any size, breed, age or disposition can bite. The same can be said for growling, barking or overall aggression. Some of the sweetest dogs that are the family pet will turn on you in a second in the right situations. Dogs are not naturally mean, they develop that behavior over time, many times due to their owner or environment. Let a dog exercise with others for a few minutes and once they get comfortable the tempers generally will all but disappear.

5. Peace – full-fledged exercise with other dogs at a dog park , playtime area or other controlled environment will grant you peace. If you go to a place like we take our fur-kids the trained staff create a sense of peace and security as well. Once your dogs have played to the point of exhaustion, generally they will go home happy, ready to lay down and take a nap. They will start to look forward to the playtime as a reward and prepare themselves accordingly. We take ours on Wednesday nights to Happy Hound Dog Resorts and they know all day what day it is. When it comes time to leave to go play they have all but lost their minds, but it is worth it.

So as a dog owner it is good for both you and your family pet to ensure they receive the proper exercise they need. We owe it to our best friends to give them as much happiness as they give us.

Now its your turn: What ways do you exercise your dog? Do you take them for runs, bike rides or dog parks? Share your tips in the comments so that others may benefit from your ideas.

About Charles Johnston

Charles is a Christian, husband and father of fur-kids who shares his walk with others in hopes to help other's along the way.

  • These are great tips! I try to give my dog a nice daily walk!

    • Thanks for stopping by Tiffany! Daily walks are very important for both your dog and you !

  • We play ball in the yard. My dogs have never been good walkers 🙁

    • Playing ball can be a great source of exercise especially for the difficult leash walkers. Better than nothing 🙂

  • I not only take my dog for a walk each day (rain or shine) and play “toss the little furry toy she loves to pretend to kill instead of returning to me,” but also give her a massage each night before bed. It helps with her join dexterity and she loves it.

  • Massages can be just as important with dogs as people, we have local dog massage therapist, acupuncture and physical therapy available where we live.

  • If my parents did not have 2 German Shepherds, who knows if they would go get 2+ hours of hiking in every single day! ha ha!

    • Yeah the bigger the breed the more energy they have and more exercise they will need.

  • Great tips! I wish my dogs were young again and could handle long walks and swimming at the beach… For now, they are happy chasing a ball for a few minutes in between naps!