Is Your Dog Getting Enough of the Right Exercise?
Different dog breeds have varying exercise needs. Small companion breeds, such as the Cavalier King Charles Spaniels, don’t need strenous workouts, but do need good exercise and stimulation. Working breeds, like the Border Collie, are bred for stamina making their exercise needs much more strenuous. Consider the activity your dog’s breed was meant to perform, like herding or retrieving, and tailor exercise to best meet those breed-specific needs.
Variety should also be incorporated into your dog’s exercise routine. Much like us, doing the same exercise routine every day can become boring to your pet. When going for walks, change your route from time to time. The change will give your dog new sights and smells to investigate which will increase their enjoyment of the walk.
So how do you know if your pet is getting enough, and the right kind of exercise? One way to know is weight gain. If your dog is gaining weight, this is an indication more walks of longer duration are needed. Another sign of inappropriate exercise level is behavorial troubles. Chewing and excessive barking are indications your dog may be anxious or frustrated.
Many people believe leaving their dog in the backyard all day provides enough opportunity for exercise. Initially, the yard provides enough stimulation and area for them to get the exercise and stimulation they need. Over time, however, the same yard becomes familiar territory with little to stimulate them. Once this happens, behaviorial problems very similar to those of a dog kept inside all day will begin to surface.
If your pet is left alone for long hours, consider hiring a dog-walker or taking him to a doggy day-care facility.
It’s Me or The Dog: How to Have the Perfect Dog by Victoria Stilwell was a reference for this post.