Why Your Dog’s Workout and Diet is Just as Important As Your Own
We all love our dogs… they bring smiles to our faces every day, lift our hearts and spirits when we are sad, and bring endless days of love, entertainment and enjoyment to our lives. They are clearly the best “mood-boosters” around. But just like humans, dogs can become stressed, sad, anxious, energetic, hyper, frustrated, bored and even depressed – which can negatively impact your own life as well.
Dogs need exercise. Even “lap” dogs. There is no way around it. Granted, your dog doesn’t need to hit the gym every day but they need both mental and physical stimulation to stay happy. Just like humans, they can get sluggish, depressed, stressed, or even hyperactive when they do not get the right nutrition, or exercise in their lives. What happens then? Your your pampered pooch may get destructive… dogs that have too much excess energy may let it out by chewing your furniture, digging holes all over your yard or your favorite pair of heels. Excessive barking, aggression, energy, noise or negative behavior from your pet may be an indication that they may not be getting a proper diet and exercise. When dogs get stressed and destructive, their humans get stressed and frustrated. You lose time, sleep and energy managing your pet’s bad behaviors. You spend more time trying to fix their bad behaviors or fix the damage they have done when you should really be addressing what may be the most likely cause… You owe it to your dog to make sure they get the “playtime” they need to reduce their stress levels and burn off excess (and destructive) energy, especially if they are home alone all day. Chances are, they are probably sleeping and saving all of their energy for when you come home from work. Additionally an overweight or under nourished pet may even have the opposite problem… not enough energy to keep up with your outdoor activities, adventures or lifestyle. Obesity and lack of exercise is not just a problem for humans…It is estimated that over 50% of dogs and cats in the USA are obese. How you solve this problem? Set aside quality time each day with your pet.
Ways to exercise and stimulate your dog:
- Taking a walk or a hike with your dog – not only do they get exercise, but its an excuse for you as well.
- Running with your dogs – you’d be amazed that your canine may be your best running partner yet.
- Get new dog toys. With the hundreds of options out there, you should be able to find something your pooch enjoys. Cant afford new toys? You can wash the old ones and hide them… by removing the “dog smell” and reintroducing the toys at a later time to your dog, they are almost as good as “brand new toys” with “brand new smells”!
- Dog chews. Give your dog something to chew for hours instead of a treat they will swallow in seconds. Rawhides and chews are great to keep your dog busy. Deer antlers, while expensive, will outlast your best dog bone by weeks if not months, and totally worth the investment to keep your dog busier than ever. Kongs are also popular… they keep dogs busy for hours by making them work hard to get the treats that are put inside.
- Dog parks and playdates. Letting your dog socialize and play with other dogs is a great way to wear them out.
- Agility classes and dock diving – great ways to become competitive with your dog and keep them very entertained.
- Swimming – if your dog loves the water, beaches and lakes are a great way to drain their excess energy.
- Obedience class – a great way to keep your dog stimulated, and a great way to learn how to manage their behavior.
- Doggie Day Care – doggie daycares are great for keeping your dog active during your work day instead of being left at home alone. They have the opportunity to play with handlers and other dogs until their tails fall off. Its guaranteed that they will pass out cold in the car ride home from their eventful day at daycare.
- The newest rage are pet sports clubs and weight-loss centers that specialize in helping you to get your dog fit.
- Don’t have enough time in the day to exercise your pet? Hire a local dog walker or pet sitter to visit your house and walk or play with them daily.