We all know that exercise is important to our health, and it is vital to include some regular activity into our schedules. The same goes for our dogs who are built to play, run, and keep active. One of the benefits of having a dog is they are good at getting you out for exercise. However, this isn't always the case. Many pet owners who don’t exercise themselves likely don’t exercise their dogs. Let’s look at some of the many benefits that regular exercise can have on your beloved pooch and ways to get it done if you're unable to.
To begin, let's start with the most obvious reason to get your dog out of the house: Obesity. Dog obesity rates are significantly rising with just over 50% of dogs in the US weighing too much. Obesity can have major consequences on your pet’s health ranging from arthritis issues to heart disease. Regular exercise, along with a proper diet, can fix this problem head on. This holds true for humans as well and can be something you and your pet can work on together. In fact, studies suggest that pet owners who regularly exercise with their pets are more likely to stick to the routine. As mentioned earlier, diet is also key to keeping your dog at a healthy weight. Evaluate your dog’s food ingredients, amount you’re feeding, and amount of treats you give each day. Most dog food labels have recommendations for amounts to feed, but this is just a recommendation and can vary from dog to dog. Speak to your vet or nutrition expert to see what is best for them.
Your dog’s mental health can also stem from the amount of exercise they are getting. Dogs too can experience stress, depression, anxiety, and other emotions. Just as with humans, exercise can help with a lot of these common issues and make a big difference in their behavior. Getting out on a walk, run, or to play fetch helps you and your pet to bond in a positive way. When they’re outdoors they get to analyze and experience new scents to stimulate their senses. Getting them to socialize with other dogs is another great way to relieve excess energy and have fun.
Keeping your dog active is also very good for their joints, reducing digestive issues, promote strong bones, among several common health concerns. Though this also goes hand in hand with our obesity point mentioned previously, we wanted to re-visit the health problems that you can be preventing. This is especially important as your dog ages, keeping their body in motion helps stimulate all their vital functions. So think of it this way, taking the time to regularly exercise your pooch can save you money in the future on vet bills.
What can you do if you don’t have the time to exercise your dog? For one, we suggest that you don’t get a dog unless you are certain you will have the time or money to provide for their needs. However, for many working individuals there are times you have too much on your plate to make it home during the day. The good news is you have options!
The cheapest option is to get a friend, neighbor, or family member to get your dog out during the day. I would highly suggest if you do this be sure it is a responsible adult that knows how to care for dogs. You'll want someone you trust that can safely handle your dog while out on a walk. For instance, in the event an aggressive dog is out on the loose and comes their way or your dog slips out of their collar. Be sure it is someone who can manage these types of scenarios.
Hiring a professional pet sitter is another great option. These are business's that care for people's pets as a career and not just a side gig. I myself have owned my pet care business for just over 3 years now. You can find pet sitters who offer daycare/boarding services in their own home. Alternatively, you can find sitters who will travel to you. Pet sitters typically offer pet visits, dog walking, hiking, and overnight in-home care as services to you. These professional businesses are licensed, insured, CPR and pet first aid certified. This is a great option to have your dog get out for exercise every day with one on one attention. (**Note** These businesses are different from sites like Rover.com or Care.com and I would not recommend these tech sites.)
The last option available is finding a good, reputable, dog daycare and boarding facility. Before starting my pet care business, I worked at several dog daycare's and suggest to be thorough when selecting one. These facilities are clearly not the best option for people with aggressive dogs, sick dogs, ect. However, if your dog loves to play well with others this can be a great option for some all-day play. Most facilities now offer supervised free roam play with indoor/outdoor areas.
I hope you enjoyed reading this blog post and that it can encourage you to get your beloved pets the proper exercise they need. If you enjoyed reading this, please share with your friends and family. Be sure to subscribe to our newsletter for updates on upcoming blog posts. We appreciate all your support and love seeing the dog lover’s community come together!