The Importance of Exercise for Dogs

By: David Cuevas May 3rd 2022

Dog’s are known as man’s best friend and for good reason but have you or any dog owner ever put a serious amount of thought into precisely how much exercise your canine companion requires and should be getting daily, and why routine exercise for dogs is so crucial?

Similar to humans, exactly how much exercise a dog needs varies from dog to dog and is dependent on different factors such as age, type of breed, body size, and health history. And depending on exactly what your work and personal calendar looks like, you may be thinking to yourself if regular exercise may actually be needed or if a shortened exercise session will have to do.

It’s important to note that while how much exercise is required varies, yet no matter the breed, age, or size, all dogs need some sort of exercise. You may be asking yourself, why do dogs need exercise? Well, the answer is simple for the same reasons humans need exercise for health purposes. Exercising keeps your dog healthy and increases their chances of achieving a longer life span. Exercise can also reduce behavioral problems such as chewing, excessive barking, digging, and other bad behavior traits. After all, when a dog is tired from an exercise session, it doesn’t have the stamina to do anything other, and that includes misbehave.

Another reason why dogs require constant exercise is to avoid obesity. Obesity isn’t just strictly a human health issue; it can affect dogs as well. In fact, it’s one of the most common health concerns for dogs.

Exercise is an activity that numerous dog owners like to do with their furry companions. Tricia Barnes, a 28-year-old dog owner, says her beloved Bassett Hound Molly was overweight and not in the best health and that lack of exercise was beginning to impact Molly’s health.

“It was honestly scary seeing how being overweight was starting to effect her everyday life but the real fright kicked in when her vet told me that if she didn’t lose weight and become healthier that Molly would be facing serious health issues down the line,” says Barnes. “Hearing this almost brought me to tears at the thought of losing her prematurely because I haven’t been doing my part as a responsible dog owner. That’s when I decided to start exercising with her regularly. We started the very next day and haven’t looked back since. This has been going on for about eight months now.”

Exercise is definitely what the doctor ordered as Molly has lost five pounds and has seen her health improve since hearing that concerning warning from the vet and Tricia says due to all the constant exercise has even seen her weight drop.

Not only is exercise good for your dog’s health, it has also been proven to strengthen the bond between dogs and their owners. Katy Simms, a 22-year-old dog owner and exercise enthusiast, is a prime example of this.

“I have always been a bit of a health nut,” Simms said laughingly. “When I was younger I was into cheerleading and an athlete so exercising is something that I did all the time and it just became a huge part of my life especially once I saw the health benefits that came along with exercising regularly.”

Being an inspiring social media influencer exercising is something Katy does daily and she even has an exercise partner and according to her it’s the best partner anyone could ask for an adorable Yorkshire Terrier named Winston. And exercising is something that helps their bond grow till this very day.

“It’s honestly amazing seeing that human and animal bond connect,” says Katy. “The best workout partner for you is your dog. They’re never going to complain they’re never going to quit on you. Anything you can do alone you can do with your dog.”

Winston the Yorkshire Terrier, waking up from a nap which allows him to be well rested for his daily workout. He will now be properly prepared for his workout. Photo credit: David Cuevas
Winston as he prepares for his pre-workout snack, which is a nutritious treat that allows him the energy required to complete the rigorous workout that awaits him. Photo credit: David Cuevas

Winston now wearing one of his stylish workout outfits as he is fully rested and has the energy needed for his daily workout. Photo credit: David Cuevas

But exercising with dogs isn’t just for millennials; anyone of any age can do it. Elizabeth Hinojosa, a 50-year-old longtime dog owner, says she noticed her Chihuahua Bella had gained weight and become obese by the breed’s weight standards.

“I first noticed it because she spends most of the day sleeping and her favorite sleeping position is curling into a tight ball,” Elizabeth said. “But eventually I noticed she wasn’t doing that anymore she was starting to lay flat or sidewalks and that’s when I realized she couldn’t curl anymore because she had gained too much weight.”

Elizabeth says lack of exercise and an unhealthy diet were the most likely reasons for Bella’s sudden weight gain.

“She’s not the youngest dog in the world so at this stage in her life health is very important,” Elizabeth said. “So I changed her diet only feeding her dog food no human food and began taking her on walks every morning before it gets too hot and while most people are still asleep as she has a habit of barking at anyone she sees and that disrupts the walk.”

Elizabeth has stuck to this new routine for nearly a full year and says she has seen improvements. Bella has lost weight, so much so that she is able to curl into her favorite sleeping position again. Elizabeth says she has even seen improvements in regards to her own health and has to chalk it up to her morning walks with her beloved dog.

Bella the Chihuahua, showing another way for her to exercise as she loves playing fetch with her toys. Photo credit: David Cuevas

Bella continuing to play with her toy as she waits for her owner so they can go on their daily walk. Photo credit: David Cuevas.

Bella watches her owner retrieve her collar and other walking gear from the car as she anxiously awaits to go on their walk as it is one of her favorite activities. Photo credit: David Cuevas

Bella on her walk. Her owner misplaced her matching pink leash and had to use one of the backups, much to her dismay. Photo credit: David Cuevas

Bella was enjoying her walk so much she decided to pose for the camera. Photo credit: David Cuevas

Bella posing again on her walk while catching a scent off in the distance. Photo credit: David Cuevas

Bella proudly posing once again while on her walk. Photo credit: David Cuevas

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