You know that staying physically active is important for your own health and well-being, but did you know that exercise is just as important for your dog? It seems our pets are suffering from the same diseases as their human owners, as veterinarians report an increase in diabetes, obesity and other chronic conditions. If you want to avoid chronic illness and costly vet bills for your own best friend, the best thing you can do is get your canine counterpart out and on the move.
Regular exercise has a number of important benefits for your dog. One of the most important advantages of regular exercise is a lower risk of obesity, arthritis and heart disease. Heart problems are so common in dogs these days that large animal hospitals often employ canine cardiologists for their four-legged patients. Exercising with your dog and providing a healthy diet can help you avoid heart problems and costly trips to the vet.
Your dog’s mental well-being and physical health is directly related to diet and activity level. Many troublesome behaviors in dogs can be traced back to boredom and a lack of activity, so keeping your dog physically healthy results in better emotional health - for both of you. Regular exercise can reduce or even eliminate behavioral problems like excessive barking or destruction around the house. A well-exercised dog will also be less likely to dig or try escaping from the yard or other enclosures.
Exercise does not have to be a chore for you or your dog. In fact, exercising with your dog can be fun and engaging. Here are a few suggestions to get you out and about:
- Simply walking with your dog is always a lot of fun, and after a while your four-legged friend will start to look forward to your jaunts. Seek out the nearest nature trail or hiking area and treat your dog to the great outdoors.
- Even in your own yard, your dog is sure to enjoy the sights, the sounds and especially the smells of nature. Whether you let your dog off leash to chase a few balls or run and play a bit on-leash, your four-legged friend is sure to enjoy the fresh air, sunshine and healthy exercise.
- Find your nearest dog park, and you and your dog can get some much-needed exercise and socialize at the same time. Your dog will have fun chasing and playing with other four-legged buddies and you can enjoy a healthy stroll in the park and some friendly conversation with your fellow dog owners.
- Sign up for a Furry 5K. Check your local events calendar for dog friendly events like 5K runs or dog parades. Your dog will have a great time showing off and you can make new community connections with other dog owners. Sign up with a friend and their dog and make it a yearly event!
Keeping your dog healthy and exercising regularly leads to a greater quality (and quantity!) of life. The chronic conditions modern dogs are prone to can significantly shorten their already brief lives, so living a healthier lifestyle is always a smart idea for your four-legged friend. Avoiding serious diseases like diabetes and obesity can also improve your dog's quality of life and make every day more fun and enjoyable. Exercise and proper diet are the easiest ways to stay healthy.
No matter how you exercise with your dog, getting out and staying active will help you and your best friend. Healthy exercise and a consistent, healthy diet can be the key to a longer and healthier life, so grab the leash and get out there with your furry friend today.