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Exercising Your Dog

Does your Bainbridge Island dog sometimes seem like a little ball of energy? Our canine buddies are built for activity. When Fido lived in the wild, he spent much of his time hunting and playing with his pack mates. Now that he is domesticated, he doesn’t have to work for his dinner, but he’s still built to burn calories. Your furry buddy needs to burn off excess energy, so that pent-up energy doesn’t cause him to act out. Dogs that don’t get proper exercise are far more prone to destructive behaviors, such as chewing and digging. They are also more prone to mischievous behaviors, such as eating out of the garbage or playing rough. How much exercise your dog needs will vary based on his breed, environment, and age, but all dogs need some exercise.

Benefits

Pups that are getting enough exercise will not only be stronger and in better shape, but will tend to be calmer, and much less likely to chew, bark, act unruly, or develop behavioral issues, like excessive barking or digging. Exercise also helps dogs with their digestion. Dogs with anxiety will relax more easily if they don’t have pent-up energy adding to their nervousness.

Walking

Walking your furry pal is as good for you as it is for him! On average, people with dogs walk nearly twice as much as people without dogs. Using a retractable leash will let your pooch have enough space to sniff and investigate nooks and crannies along the route without jarring you. You don’t have to walk very long; if your dog has outdoor access to a fenced yard, a quick 20 to 30 minute walk should be sufficient.

Running

If you like jogging, you can take your dog with you, but be careful not to overexert Fido, especially on hot days. Keep an eye on your furry pal’s paw pads, as asphalt and tar can give him blisters or scrapes. You’ll also want to avoid running a very young dog, as growing bones are more sensitive to impacts from exercise. Monitor your pup after exercise as well. If he seems tired, shorten the length of the next outing.

Playtime

If Fido has a lot more energy than you, don’t worry. You can get your pooch his workout without exhausting yourself. Playing games like fetch will allow your pup to burn off his excess energy without you having to move as much. You can also take your pup to an off-leash dog park, so Fido can run around to his little heart’s content.

Just like people, dogs need to stay active to be healthy. Check with your Bainbridge Island vet about how much exercise your dog needs.

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