The adage, “A tired dog is a good dog,” says it all. A dog that has an active, healthy lifestyle is more likely to be well behaved and worn out. Of course, even if your vet hasn’t warned you to watch your dog’s weight, there are plenty of reasons to ensure he gets enough exercise and stimulation each day. For example, dogs who exercise daily tend to cause less trouble and engage in fewer destructive behaviors than sedentary dogs. Overall, dogs who exercise are healthier and tend to live longer.
- Active Dogs Have Fewer Digestive Issues
The more active a dog is, the lower his chances for developing digestive problems. First, dogs that don’t exercise enough can become constipated or have intestinal blockages. Veterinarians don’t know exactly why it happens, but being sedentary often results in a slower transit of fecal matter in dogs, resulting in constipation. If you see your dog straining to defecate, producing rock-hard stools, or failing to go, he likely is constipated and needs more water and exercise
If your dog has been constipated for two or fewer days, you can try a home remedy, such as pumpkin, plenty of water, and canned dog food with an elevated moisture content. You also should contact your vet as soon as you think your dog is constipated because it can be a sign of a serious disease.Make a point to take him for more frequent, longer walks. If you have a busy schedule, hire a dog walker to ensure your dog gets his daily exercise needs fulfilled. Dog walkers will come to your home and take your pet for a walk as often as necessary.
- Improved Behavior
When dogs are bored or have pent-up energy, they often exhibit behavior problems. If your dog chews, digs or scratches, he likely needs more exercise. Other signs of a dog not getting enough exercise include hyperactivity or excitability, being unruly to the point of knocking over furniture and jumping on people, becoming predatory or possessive, engaging in play biting or rough play, and increasing attention-getting behaviors such as incessant barking or whining.
However, by exercising your dog and playing with him, you can drastically improve his behavior. If you’re looking for some fun ways to keep him active and expend some of his energy to improve his behavior, check out these game suggestions from VetStreet. If your schedule doesn’t permit you to play with your dog often, consider hiring a pet sitter. Pet sitters drop in and check on your pet and spend some time with him while you’re away. Plus, they play with your dog and keep him active, which will help improve his overall behavior.
- Active Dogs are More Agile and Limber
Dogs that get exercise daily maintain a healthy weight. Sadly, dogs that don’t get enough exercise become obese. According to ASPCA Pet Health Insurance, approximately 54 percent of dogs in the U.S. are overweight or obese. Obese dogs have a much higher risk of developing arthritis, diabetes, heart disease, respiratory disease, and liver problems.
On the other hand, dogs that play often and exercise daily are more agile and limber. They weigh less, which also means there is less strain on their joints, ligaments, and tendons. Dogs that weigh less and have an easier time moving feel better and want to play more, so they exercise and remain healthy.
To help him stay healthy, it’s crucial for your dog to get enough exercise. Active dogs have fewer digestive issues, are better behaved, and are more agile and limber. If you can’t always provide enough stimulation, hire a dog walker or a pet sitter to ensure your dog remains active. Taking steps to keep him active and stimulated will benefit you both in the long run.
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