As pet owners, we want the very best quality of life for our animals. We do lots of research on what breeds, products, and foods are best. We read books and articles about how to train them. We spend hundreds on leashes, toys, and other treats. And sometimes, we take them to dog training and other specialists for extra support with the comfort and happiness of our pet. It seems there is nothing short of what we will do for our extended furry family members. However, with our busy lives, we can forget a very important part of their health: their physical activity.
Exercise is key for any dog, no matter the breed. Although the amount of exercise needed varies from dog to dog, it is a general rule of thumb that your dog needs between 30 minutes – 2 hours of exercise each day (PetMD)! Thirty minutes would be more appropriate for toy breeds like a Shih-tzu. 30 minutes of exercise would also be appropriate for dogs with health conditions, like hip dysplasia, such as an English Bulldogs. The needed two hours would be for a puppy, or a dog from the working group like a Border Collie, Labrador Retriever, or Golden Retriever.
Now, I know that after a long day at work it can be hard to find the energy to take your dog for a walk. And our pets can be convincing couch potatoes. What if there is something good on TV? What if the weather isn’t perfect? BUT!-- the benefits are endless. Physical activity for your pet increases healthy development, and exercise can help curb their destructive behaviors. According to the School for Veterinary Behaviorists, regular exercise helps stop chewing, going to the bathroom in the house, and other obsessive behaviors.
Does your dog sometimes exhibit behaviors that make it a chore for you to walk them; such as excessive pulling? You can stop these behaviors with simple switches like using a harness or a gentle leader instead of attaching the leash to your dogs collar. By changing the tools with which you walk your dog, can help you control your dog more easily. Thus, making the walk more enjoyable for you both (high-five!). If you continue to have problems with pulling on walks after changing the tools you use, I would recommend spending time with a trainer or animal behaviorist. Taking these small steps now can help save you and your loving pet from heartache later.
Finally, professional dog walkers are always a great option to help you when you are running late, working, or if you are sick. Professional dog walkers are skilled in handling many different breeds of dogs and can give you peace of mind that when you are unable to provide physical exercise, someone else can. Crisis averted!
I hope you enjoyed this blog post! Let me know what you thought of it and if it was helpful in the comments below. Thank you!
Edited by Tara Rico