Wait a minute, the dog needs a walk… Seriously!

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.

Dachshund swims on labThis 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.

dog eats ice cream

That’s not what I meant by “skills for survival”

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.

Fat dog

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.

Lets get fat dog

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!

fat dog

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

Hyperactivity

walks over dog

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.

work out dogs!

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!

dachshund weight lifter

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!

16 thoughts on “Wait a minute, the dog needs a walk… Seriously!

  1. Love this post! My dogs name is Boomer too! He’s a white boxer and he either goes on walks or gets taken to the dog park everyday, but he’s still always bouncing off the walls. He just turned two though and so that combined with being a crazy boxer probably has something to do with it…I’ve heard they don’t settle down until another couple of years…oh boy haha.. He has a super sensitive stomach so most dog treats are a no for him, but he seems to like a few pieces of his dog food just as well as treats anyways.

    • That is so funny, I feed my dogs their dog food as treats too. It totally works. That’s awesome that you take him to the dog park or on walks. I only walk mine or take them swimming because even though they love humans, they dont like other dogs, go figure.

  2. Great post! We have an Australian shepherd/queensland heeler and thankfully she loves kids because she gets plenty of attention and exercise from them. She is a picky eater and would rather be hungry than eat cheap fog food. We learned from my mother in law about how much she should be eating. Our kids do like to give her treats a lot so I’ll remember to keep an eye on that. In the winter she seems to gain weight because she hates going out when it’s cold. Boy, typing all this is making me realize we have a spoiled dog on our hands. 🙂

  3. I don’t have any pets right now, but these are great tips. We had a daschund when I was a kid and we had to be careful not to over feed him; that extra weight is so hard in their backs.

    • You are so right, dachshunds can have very bad issues with their backs. I keep my little guy in top form so hopefully we can avoid it. 🙂

  4. Great post! I am a dog owner (to a lovely little Yorkie)! I definitely agree with everything you said above. So many people give me a hard time bc our dog gets NO human food or treats and I walk him a lot, but my vet tells me how incredibly healthy he is all the time. When we rescued him, he was severely overweight (18 lbs) and within 3 months I had him at a healthy weight through good quality food, exercise and love!

    • I love hearing that. It sounds to me like your little Yorkie found his perfect home and I’m sure he knows it too 😉

  5. Daily walks are something I am (admittedly) not consistent with. Living in a grey, rainy climate, I do make a big effort to play fetch indoors to make up for it a bit. Our oldest is 12 and he gets to walk to the mailbox with us and I try to take the younger dogs running with me on the weekend.
    I loved the point you made about treats! Too may people shower their dogs with food affection (much like we do with people too!). Treats are minimal and feeding is appropriate so we don’t have any overweight dogs 🙂

    • 🙂 Everytime I read your blog I notice how healthy and happy all of your animals look, including the elusive cat, when it makes the rare appearance.

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