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The Best Dog Exercises To Try With Your Pup

<sup>(Originally published Jan. 16, 2017)</sup> Let’s face it, we have to make a concerted effort to get the proper amount…

<sup>(Originally published Jan. 16, 2017)</sup>
Let’s face it, we have to make a concerted effort to get the proper amount of exercise. It’s so easy to be lazy and complacent, isn’t it? And guess what? Our pets like to hang out on the couch in front of the TV as much as we do. It takes some self-discipline to get moving, but there is no better time than now!

Dogs, who do not get adequate exercise, are often overweight. That excess weight is the cause of many other health issues: Diabetes, heart disease, arthritis, respiratory disease, and joint problems. Dogs need exercise not only to remain fit physically but also to stimulate them mentally. It’s up to you to make a difference in their short life. Will they enjoy an active, joyful life or one burdened with health problems, boredom, and often pain?

Where To Start with Dog Exercises

If you look at nearly any website or magazine promoting health and fitness, the number one recommendation for getting into shape is walking. And the best part is, walking is good for all shapes, sizes, ages, and nearly all health conditions. Walking not only helps eliminate excess weight, but also helps get the heart pumping, resulting in better digestion, agility, and relaxation. This benefits nearly every bodily function. We are not referring to “business” walks, but walking specifically for exercise. Taking your dog for a potty walk is not the same as walking for fitness. Start slowly and gradually increase the length of your walks based on your dog’s ability. Work on reaching and maintaining a brisk, healthy pace.

Can implementing dog exercises into your daily routine really be that simple? Yes, and no…

Is Walking Enough Exercise For Dogs?

Although walking is very necessary, for many dogs getting into shape requires a more rigorous form of exercise. For example, your healthy two-year-old lab needs more than a 15-minute walk to satisfy its fundamental demand for exercise. Adding a rigorous game of fetch or frisbee is both a physical and fun form of exercise for your dog!

Daily walks are the perfect place to start before adding new dog exercises to your and your pup’s routine.

Organized Activity To Help Keep Dogs Healthy

A few of our pack members actively participate in Agility with their dogs. Agility provides great exercise for you and your pup! Quickly leading your dog through, under, and over various obstacles strengthens your dog’s muscles, challenges its mind, and increases endurance.

Remember those relay races from grade school? Fly Ball is a relay race for dogs and another excellent exercise for your dog. Just like Agility, Fly Ball is great for your dog’s mental and physical health.

A few of Holiday Barn Pet Resorts’ Professional Dog Trainers are active with Dock Dogs. Dock Dogs is an aquatic competition for dogs involving leaping, speed, and endurance. There are many health benefits to swimming, jumping, and the adrenaline-boosting energy this sport provides.

And, of course, Dog Day Care at Holiday Barn Pet Resorts is always full of organized activities to help make sure your dog has a fun-filled day of exercise!

Inherent Activity Can Be Good Exercise For Dogs

Your dog’s particular breed and inclination are strong clues as to the type of dog exercises they will enjoy. A breed’s exercise requirements are also very important to know when choosing your fur-ever friend.

Retrievers love swimming, which is great exercise. It is also a suitable exercise for aging or frail dogs who require a lower-impact type of exercise.

Tracking is a sport for dogs that harnesses their natural ability to follow scents and can be optimized for your particular dog’s fitness level.  A few of our pack members are involved in scent tracking with their dogs and excel in competition!  Start with tracking a scent within the confines of your own home, and then head outside to cover a much larger terrain. Pointers, hounds, and shepherds are natural scent trackers.

Likewise, your dog may be a hunter at heart. That lazy-acting little beagle may show you another side altogether when you take them on a trek through the woods. Hunting does not have to end in the killing of prey, but rather the thrill of the hunt itself.

Lure Coursing simulates the chasing of prey. It is fascinating to watch sighthounds pursuing their prey (albeit, a mechanically operated lure) with amazing speed and agility.

Does My Dog Need A Lot of Exercise?

WebMD recommends pet owners and their pups spend 30 minutes to two hours on some type of activity every day. This time frame is based on the dog’s age, health, breed, and current exercise routine.

Before implementing any exercise program for your dog, a checkup and consultation with your veterinarian are highly recommended. Your veterinarian will advise you of the proper amount of time to spend exercising with your dog based on their individual ability and fitness level.

Strengthen Your Bond Through Dog Exercises

With commitment comes great rewards. Through your commitment to getting the right exercise for your dog, you have racked up two rewards! Firstly, while making sure your dog has adequate exercise, you are getting in shape yourself! Secondly, the bond with your dog becomes increasingly stronger with every minute you spend playing and exercising with them. It’s a win-win!

Holiday Barn Pet Resorts believes that training maximizes the relationship we have with our dogs. Call to schedule a free training orientation with one of our professional certified dog trainers to get started on dog exercises and programs for your pup! For our Glen Allen location, call 804-672-2200, and for our Midlothian location, call 804-794-5400.


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