Is Your Dog a Couch Potato?

June 07, 2016

Is Your Dog a Couch Potato?

Dogs are naturally born workers. For thousands of years they have worked alongside their human companions. Dogs over time have been bred for specific tasks like hunting, herding and guarding. Now unfortunately the most common job dogs have today is holding the couch down! No longer are they required to hunt, protect or herd animals. They do not have to scavenge for food. They are pretty much pampered. To the point where they are treated as equal family members in the eyes of their owners. Which is fine, but often they are confined, alone and inactive, for most of the day. This leaves dogs with no outlet for their natural needs to run, hunt or be physically and mentally challenged. Boredom will lead to poor behavior, depression and anxiety.

Today’s dogs rarely work anymore. They lack opportunities for exercise. A lot of pet owners often make the mistake of assuming if a dog has access to a yard, that they will be getting exercise. But if your dog isn’t running laps by themselves then they probably aren’t getting the exercise they need to be healthy and stimulated. It's good to know that dogs live in the moment and even if they have been couch potatoes for years. They will still, without hesitation take on any task you present them. So make a point to get out and play with your dog at least once a day. This will help to reduce common behavior problems like digging, barking, chewing and hyperactivity.

For the seriously under-worked dogs make sure to check with your dog’s vet before starting an exercise program. Dogs are much like humans and develop sore muscles, aches and pains. Even worse serious health conditions form over exertion. So take it slow and ease them into an active exercise regimen. I'm sure they will want to keep going but you need to know when enough is enough Save more play for the next day. Your dog will thank you for it.

Exercise is great for energetic younger dogs, but sustained jogging is not recommended for young dogs under a year and a half old whose bones haven’t finished growing yet.

Most dogs benefit enormously from daily aerobic exercise, or exercise that makes them pant. Fetch, tug, running and in most cases a 30 minute walk works nicely, for both the dogs and their owners. You should try to choose activities that suit your dog’s individual personality. Sometimes you need to focus on brains, not brawn. Exercise your dog’s brain with puzzle toys, or try hunting for their dinner, and chew toys are always a great option.

If you are limited to what you can do with your dog because of heath conditions, than seek dog toys that are interactive. Like treat dispensing dog toys, challenging dog toys like Unbreakoball®. Also a toy that limits your motion but can really get dogs going is the flirt pole.

The flirt pole is like a giant cat toy only it's made for dogs. Also dog exercise balls, such as the Unbreakoball® are made for soccer-style fetch and play. They come in different sizes and are made of hard plastic. Many dogs love to play with these, using their paws and nose to play soccer—with you, of course! They are challenged to grasp and run with it which makes them even more appealing to the determined pooch. These can be great ways for your dogs to get moving without you having to over exert yourself. It's important for both dog and owner to enjoy exercise and play.

 

A little bit can go a long way for Enriching Your Dog’s Life. So once a day get out and play with your dog. You will both be glad you did!



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