Just like humans, dogs need regular physical activity to stay physiologically and mentally healthy. Dog exercise can be an hour-long play session in the backyard or a two-mile walk covering his favorite “stop and smell” places. He’ll certainly enjoy a workout for his nose while you’re out and about.
It doesn’t matter what you’re doing with your dog as long as those canine legs get stretched, and his tail wags the whole time he’s with you.
5 Benefits of Exercise for Dogs
There are many benefits to making sure your dog gets regular exercise, just like for humans. Here are five of those benefits:
1) Exercise Releases Endorphins to Help Prevent Stress and Depression
Brain chemistry-wise, we have more in common with our canine buds than you may think. When dogs exercise, their brains produce and release endorphins that make them feel happy and energetic. Humans also experience this “runner’s high” when they engage in sustained physical activity because endorphins also flood their bloodstream.
Endorphins are those “feel good” hormones that act as the body’s natural analgesic and mood enhancer. Have you ever wondered why your dog loves getting his ears or stomach rubbed? It’s because you’re stimulating that part of his brain that makes endorphins. Exercise does the same thing.
2) Exercise Helps Maintain Your Dog’s Gastrointestinal System
Ensuring your dog gets sufficient exercise may prevent GI disorders from compromising his health. It can be more complicated if your dog suffers from a food allergy or another issue, but generally, exercise helps the gastrointestinal system function more efficiently.
Exercise promotes new cell growth and blood circulation within the canine stomach and intestines to help stimulate urination and bowel movements. Regular “bathroom” activity also reduces harmful bacteria levels in a dog’s urinary tract as well as episodes of constipation or diarrhea.
3) Exercise Prevents Obesity
Chubby dogs aren’t the happiest dogs. Their range of motion is restricted, and the extra weight puts unnecessary stress on their cardiovascular and respiratory system. They also often have gastrointestinal issues.
Dogs did not evolve to be couch potatoes and eat human junk food. They were bred to work with and for humans, eat lean meat, keep herds of livestock from straying and chase away predators. Consequently, overweight dogs will inevitably suffer the same chronic diseases overweight humans suffer — diabetes, heart disease and osteoarthritis due to obesity-related joint degeneration.
4) No More “Bad” Dogs
If you’ve ever parented a young child, you know how bored and fidgety they get if they can’t play and run off all that excess energy. Likewise, dogs that are not getting enough exercise may:
– Chew on anything and everything.
– Dig holes in the yard.
– Bark and whine for no discernible reason.
– Scratch and bite incessantly (even if he doesn’t have fleas or skin/coat problems).
– Engage in generally destructive behavior.
Getting your dog out for a nice walk or for playtime at the park gets rid of some energy and brings back your “good” dog!
5) Exercise Strengthens the Bond Between You and Your Dog
Although your dog seems intent on sniffing every tree and bush while you are walking him, he is very aware of your presence and greatly appreciates it. Have you ever noticed him suddenly stopping, turning around to look at you and then continuing on with his walk? That’s his way of telling you how much he appreciates you being with him and doing something he loves — exercising his mind and body.
How Much Exercise Is Enough?
Different dog breeds need different amounts of exercise. For example, sporting/herding dogs, such as collies, German shepherds and retrievers, should get at least two hours of vigorous exercise every day. Smaller herding dogs like terriers need at least 60 minutes of sustained physical activity.
Toy breeds (like Chihuahuas and poodles), bulldogs and pugs have a tendency to put on weight because they are usually indoor dogs that do not receive enough exercise. Playing fetch or tug o’ war several times a day with these dog breeds can help prevent weight gain and keep them healthy.
Boost the Benefits of Exercise for Dogs With Kauffman’s® Health Supplements
In addition to exercise and plenty of love, give your canine best friend Kauffman’s® FORTITUDE Canine supplements made from all-natural ingredients. Chock-full of prebiotics, probiotics, DHA and an optimal blend of fruits, vegetables, sprouts and greens, Kauffman’s® FORTITUDE Canine supplements may help keep your dog healthy, his coat shiny and his eyes bright and happy.