Ensuring that your dog gets the right amount of exercise is important for their wellbeing and quality of life. Bored dogs can be unhappy and may show their frustration through a number of ways, such as destructive behaviour, barking and toileting in the house.
If your dog is left alone for the majority of the day, it is especially important to ensure that they get some exercise prior to being left and when you return. Exercising your dog not only relieves stress, it can also prevent weight gain and benefit your dog’s mental wellbeing.
The amount of exercise your dog needs will depend on their breed, age and health. If you are unsure, speak to your vet who will be able to offer advice based on your dog’s health needs.
To help maintain your dog’s health and wellbeing here are some top tips for exercising your dog:
Walks with your dog not only benefits them but can also help to get yourself active too. Varied walking can be good for you and your dog. This is where you speed walk for about 30 seconds, walk at a normal pace for about a minute and then speed up again. You can do this randomly throughout your walk.
Try to vary your walks by going on different routes. This will help to keep your daily walk interesting and exciting for your dog.
Let them sniff
Always let your dog have a good sniff around whilst out on walks. This is really important for their mental health.
Don’t throw sticks
Try not to throw sticks for your dog to chase. They could splinter and injure your dog’s mouth and throat. If you throw a ball, be sure it’s not too small so they don’t swallow it. You could use items such as a Frisbee, which are too big to swallow or get stuck in their mouth.
Interactive feeding toys are a great way to help your dog burn extra calories. These can also keep your dog occupied and prevent boredom if they have to be left home alone.
For more mobile dogs, you can use objects such as hula-hoops to get them moving. Hold it just off the ground and encourage your dog to jump through. Once they have mastered it you could increase the height off the ground. Be sure to give them lots of praise and encouragement.
Don’t miss a walk
If you are unable to walk your dog for some reason, ask a friend to take them or a professional dog-walker. Make sure your dog keeps up with his routine and does not miss out on their daily walk.
Consider their age
Younger dogs will be faster and more mobile than older dogs, so bear this in mind when on walks or during exercise, don’t push your dog too much if they are struggling.
Taking your dog along on your daily jog can be a great way to get them moving, as well as yourself. However, jogging is not recommended for puppies or larger breeds of dogs, as it can impact their joints.
Some dogs may need restrictive exercise. For example, if they have stiff joints they may require short frequent walks rather than one long walk. You may consider nutraquin+ to aid and soothe stiff joints, as well as promote your dog’s mobility and flexibility.
Stick to it
It’s important for your dog to stick to an exercise routine. This is particularly important for older and overweight dogs.
Try to avoid exercising your dog immediately before and after mealtimes. A full stomach combined with walking or running may cause them to have a sensitive tummy.
Whatever the weather
Make sure you walk your dog no matter the weather. Most dogs are happy to go out come rain or shine. Just be sure to consider the weather when planning your walk, for example in hot weather, walk your dog at cooler times of the day.
If you are unsure about the amount or types of exercise your dog should have, speak to your vet who is best placed to monitor your dog’s health and offer advice dependent on their age and health needs.
To support your dog’s mobility, consider using nutraquin+, which contains the necessary high strength natural ingredients that help to maintain healthy joint function in dogs, cats and horses, whilst supporting the natural systems that control inflammation. For puppies you could use nutraquin, which supports joint structure and promotes optimum joint heath during growth.