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Exercise is for everyone! And some dogs need a bit extra.

Every dog needs some level of exercise. A normally healthy dog that is always sedentary will be challenged to stay healthy over time, just like its human parents. Dog exercise is key to a long life.

Where do we start?

Beagle running at full speed!

Exercise for any breed is typically an outdoor or open space activity where s/he can move freely, and at their personal full speed. “While playing in the house cannot be totally discounted”, generally “playing inside of the home does not count as exercise, and neither does being allowed outside for a few minutes at a time to go to the toilet. Walking on the lead, play and activity in the yard, running off the lead in a safe place, and other activities such as agility practice or swimming count as exercise.” says Pet4Homes. This active owner-dog engagement is a good baseline for your fur-baby’s good health, including critical weight control.

You may have a dog whose energy level seems “off the charts”, a real comedian who can’t seem to sit still, ever! If he or she appears to have a lot of uncharged energy and is “tearing up the rug”, literally or figuratively, you may both benefit by sharing regular, challenging runs outside. If you’re unable to be physically active yourself, you might consider pairing your dog(s) with another human companion for a regular brisk walk or run if possible. The behavior of the dog will probably improve once it has expended the extra energy, and is happily too exhausted to carry on the unwanted behavior.

WebMD makes the case that “keeping your dog healthy, happy and out of trouble with daily exercise is a lot of fun and provides many benefits.” Exercising your dog(s) can help:

  • Reduce or eliminate common behavior problems…such as digging, excessive barking, chewing and hyperactivity
  • Keep dogs healthy, agile and limber
  • Reduce digestive problems and constipation
  • Help timid or fearful dogs build confidence and trust
  • Make dogs feel sleepy, rather than restless, at bedtime or when you’re relaxing

Individual breed’s exercise levels differ of course. Ideally, you had the opportunity to choose your current dog based on an assessment of the exercise you would provide it. On the other hand, if you’re currently in search mode for the right dog to adopt, take a fair time to learn about the breeds before making a decision. Know what each was bred to do; their habits, their instincts, and their usual exercise requirements. Examine yourself. Be honest! If you’re prone to not going outside when it’s cold to walk or run – or do much of anything, then there are breeds that will favor your habits and be better with that minimal amount of exertion (e.g., Basset Hounds, English Bulldogs and Shih Tzus). If, on the other hand, you’re a daily morning runner, there are breeds who will be enthusiastic partners. Some will never trail behind, never tugging the leash to return to your warm house (e.g., Jack Russell Terrier, Siberian Husky and Collie).

resting dog after exercise

Digging Deeper:

Choosing the Right Dog Breed

Healthy Dogs: Exercise for Dogs (WebMD)

How much exercise does my puppy need? (Animal Planet re. puppys’ unique exercise requirements)

15 Dog Breeds That Don’t Need Too Much Exercise

Wash N’ Wags in Salisbury, MA has do-it-yourself dog washing facilities for just about any dog you might have. From plump to lean and everything in between, visit us for a good wash. Please drop by to give your dog a bath. Or phone 978-463-4900 to make an appointment with our professional groomers instead. Either way, you and your pet will be greeted and helped by friendly supportive staff to assure the healthiest visit possible!

Photo source (beagle):