All dogs need exercise, even the lazy ones. The small ones need it, the large ones need it, the purebreds and the mixed breeds all need it. Exercise is one of those things that’s important for every dog. It benefits both their physical and mental health. Confined to lives inside our homes, dogs need to get out and stretch their legs, smell new scents and explore the world. It enriches their lives as well as ours. While many owners think they provide enough exercise for their dogs, they often don’t. If you’re wondering whether or not your dog could use some more activity, consider whether or not they exhibit these traits.
#1 – Obesity
Obesity is a growing problem with dogs all over the world. While a big part of the issue is owners feeding way too much food, the other is the lack of physical activity many dogs face today. Think about it, human obesity is a problem due to lack of exercise – so it makes sense that many dogs aren’t getting enough exercise either. They can’t grab their leashes and go walk themselves! Longer walks, more games of fetch and even a good run are all ways to easily offer activity for our dogs. Explore new places and enjoy the outdoors together. If your dog is overweight, increasing physical activity is a great way to combat obesity and the many ailments that tag along with it.
#2 – Destructive Behavior
Many dogs that don’t get enough exercise become very bored. When left to their own devices, they will become anxious and need a way to release that stress. Many dogs do this by chewing and digging, and we don’t mean just on their toys. More often that not, dogs that are tearing up carpet, eating couches, ripping through drywall, chewing every item in the home and digging up the entire yard are dogs that need more mental and physical activity. They have a lot of energy to burn and without their owners taking them out to release that energy, they resort to finding ways to relieve the stress themselves. It’s unfair to punish a dog for these behaviors without first being sure they are being provided enough physical exercise.
#3 – Barking & Howling
Another common nuisance behavior of bored dogs is barking and howling. Sometimes you’ll notice dogs don’t seem to be barking at anything at all. While it’s normal to chase squirrels or alert to someone at the front door, bored dogs will start barking for attention and howling to relieve stress. Like chewing and digging, these behaviors become a way for dogs to entertain themselves or try and tell us that they need something to do. Barking can become excessive but if caught early can improve. Making sure the dog is getting enough exercise every day will help determine whether or not boredom has anything to do with their vocalization.