How many of you are dog owners? Well, as most of you probably already know, I am a Mommy to two beautiful fur babies, Hank the Dachshund and Boomer the Black Lab. I love them both very much as I have loved all of my dogs over the years, which brings me to the reason for this post, dogs and exercise.
This may come as a surprise to some people but dogs are born to work for a living. They are bred for purpose, like hunting, protection and herding. Your dogs ancestors spend hours hunting and scavenging and living in the wild. They developed skills for survival and they got plenty of exercise.
Unfortunately most dogs today are couch potato’s and we already know that sitting on the sofa all day is bad for us, so what do you think it does to your dog? The cold hard truth is, when a dog sits on the sofa all day, they suffer the very same consequences that we do. Dogs get diabetes, and arthritis from obesity just like us, but it can be prevented much like we prevent disease in ourselves, with exercise and healthy eating.
Don’t make the mistake of thinking that providing your dog with one meal and day and giving your dog a yard to play in will solve the problem. It doesn’t. I don’t know about your dog, but my dogs like playing with me and they aren’t going to run laps around the yard unless I’m out there with them.
We’ve all seen the pictures like some in this post but fat dogs, (or cats) are not funny because those pets are at risk for health problems. Dogs are like some children, if you don’t provide structure for them, they’ll figure out ways to use that energy on their own and I don’t know about you but I don’t like coming home to chewed up shoes, books or furniture!
So, how do you know if your dog is getting enough exercise? IF your dog isn’t getting enough exercise or play time, they may exhibit some of the following behaviors:
Destructive chewing or digging
Jumping up on people
Play biting and rough play
Excessive barking or whining
Fortunately you can keep your dog healthy and happy with daily exercise and by carefully monitoring food intake. Here are 5 things you can do to keep your dog healthy and happy.
Give Treats Sparingly – If you reward your dog with treats, make sure they get plenty of exercise to counteract those calories.
Don’t give your dog human food. Those extra calories can pack on the pounds and some human food is toxic to dogs.
Walk your dog every day. Consult with your veterinarian on how much exercise is healthy for your dog. Certain breeds need more than others. (We take our lab swimming because he has joint issues and the vet recommended swimming more than walking.)
Don’t leave food out for your dog all day long. Ask your vet how often and how much you should feed your dog. You may be surprised at the amount. I keep a measuring cup right beside the food so that I can make sure my dogs get the exact amount they need.
Fill that water bowl. Dogs need to be hydrated to be healthy just like we do so make you’re your dog always has plenty of fresh, clean water.
Be sure to check with your dog’s vet before starting any exercise program or new diet. Your vet can check your dog for any health issues that may be aggravated by exercise and suggest safe ways to keep your dog in shape.
We work hard to be the best parents we can be and to keep our children healthy and happy so lets also make sure our pets get the right amount of food and exercise too!
Are you guilty of overindulging your dog? In what way?
I give my dogs way too many treats for good behavior and I am going to work on that!