Working out with your dog

muzzleCompared to their scavenging ancestors, most dogs today are couch potatoes! They get their food for free and are often home alone and inactive for most of the day. This lack of purpose leaves dogs no outlet for their naturally active tendencies—physical and mental—and it can contribute to the development of behavior problems.

Problems that may result from lack of exercise and play:

  • Destructive chewing, digging or scratching
  • Investigative behaviors, like garbage raiding
  • Hyperactivity, excitability and night-time activity
  • Unruliness, knocking over furniture and jumping up on people
  • Excessive predatory and social play
  • Play biting and rough play
  • Attention-getting behaviors like barking and whining

Daily exercise will:

  • Help to reduce or eliminate the common behavior problems listed above, such as digging, excessive barking, chewing and hyperactivity
  • Help to keep dogs healthy, agile and limber
  • Help to reduce digestive problems and constipation
  • Help timid or fearful dogs build confidence and trust
  • Help dogs feel sleepy, rather than restless, at bedtime or when you’re relaxing

Exercise has so many benefits for you and your dog! Looking to be more active this summer? Your dog can be your best work-out buddy. It’s a win-win for the both of you! Unlike a friend who might bail at the last second, you pup is always eager to get outside and be active with you. Studies show that dog owners are almost 40% more active than non-dog owners. Just be sure to not push your work-out buddy too hard, especially in the summer heat!

To honor the Women’s World Cup, Morris Animal Inn will be hosting a FIFA Fit Camp June 8-12,2015 for dogs who are looking to increase their fitness endurance or just looking to burn off that extra energy during the work week. Activities will include warm-up cardio activities like stair work-outs, treadmill trots and trail runs, a championship soccer game in group or private dog play, and cool-down activities like swimming or a nice massage. Find out more information here.

Lastly, PetMD offers many ways to be active summer and have fun with your dog! Whether your dog prefers a nice long walk or splashing and swimming, there are endless options to enjoy together. Be sure to consult your veterinarian for more ways to keep your pup safe and in shape. Happy exercising!

Source: ASPCA