Much like a child, your dog is curious and excited about the world around him. Wild animals learn about their environment through their mothers and members of their packs but domesticated animals are dependent on you to take them out to explore the sights, smells, and sounds of the world. Not only is it beneficial for their health to take them exploring every day, it's beneficial for you too! Here are a few reasons daily exercise will help keep your beloved pooch healthy and happy.
- Weight. It's important to establish a regular exercise routine as sedentary dogs can easily become overweight. Puppies need at least an hour, while older dogs vary in exercise times needed. Don't make the mistake of thinking a dog that has access to a yard is exercising - most times that is not enough. Dogs do not "self-entertain" so it's important to dedicate time each day for physical interaction.
- Mood stabilization. Just as in humans, your pup needs physical exertion to calm his nervous system. If you are too busy to walk your dog each day, ask a friend or find a dog walker in your area. You'll not only see the benefits of your pup being exposed to multiple people, but you'll come home to a much happier and more relaxed pooch.
- Life Expectancy. "Use it or lose it" is a phrase that applies to canines as well as people. The more your dog warms his muscles, circulates his blood and lubricates his joints, the longer he will be around. Making time each day for physical exercise is the best thing you can do to support his longevity. Warning: a few minutes of fetch in the yard is great but for optimal results he should stick to a regular schedule emphasizing cardio such as walking, running or hiking.
- Socialization. The more interaction your pup has with people as well as other dogs makes for a happier and healthier life. Dogs main form of socialization comes through daily walks. Remember, that friendly dogs still may like a bit of rough housing with their neighborhood friends. However, because they are relaxed and social, they will know when to come up for air and not be too aggressive while they play.
- Immunity to Illnesses. A hearty session of fetch, rough housing or chase with your pup does his immune system a world of good. It promotes circulation, decreases blood pressure and reduces stress hormones. Just like people, dogs benefit greatly from exercise and should be as active as their age, physical constitution and overall disposition allow them. Not only is this good for his mood and temperament, but, like we said, it’s a great way to improve the immune system response. And what better way to get your dog to exercise than to play with him? If you don’t have the time or the energy to play with your dog for hours every day, consider getting a dog walker. His exposure to other dogs and natural environments is essential to building up his immune system and leads to greater health and a longer life expectancy.