What Exercise Does for Your Dog and What You Get in the Bargain

Billings Dog WalkerTracie Morgan is a Certified Dog Walker, has dog first aid certification, and her B.S. degree in Social Science from Rocky Mountain College in Billings MT. Tracie operates a dog walking service in Billings, Montana called Dogs ‘N Sync, LLC where she takes up to six dogs in a pack on daily 3 mile off-leash dog hikes to local public access area trails and parks.

Because of the long work hours and busy lives people lead today their canine companions spend long lonely hours at home bored, sleeping, and even overeating. Dogs are companion animals and an important part of our culture, our family, and our community life. People have a strong historical relationship with dogs and over time dogs have become more than canine companions. People derive both physical and mental health benefits from their relationships with dogs; dogs have become an important part of our society. Dogs provide many stress relieving and health benefits, such as social support and stress relief.

Effects of Exercise on Behavior
Also important to the health and welfare of people and dogs is the need for daily activity. With more people becoming health conscious, it is well known that exercise is a good thing for human bodies, and, of course, that goes for dogs too. Exercise tones muscles, builds strong bones, improves circulation, can improve bone and joint health; can improve heart and lung function, helps weight loss, helps prevent early death, improves mental state, promotes healthy rest, helps prevent depression, and in dogs, reduces the incidence of digestive problems and constipation.

It is well known that people do not get enough exercise and it is no surprise that dogs are not getting enough exercise either. There is a strong connection between lack of exercise and behavior problems in dogs. Dogs were bred to perform specific jobs. Because they are not required to do these specific jobs now they need an outlet for their energy, relief from boredom, and time to display the particular characteristics of their breed.

Dogs’ genetics have prepared them to work, but many dogs are spending their lives confined in monotonous back yards. What are they doing to burn all that built up natural energy? Many are barking, chewing, digging, whining, escaping, howling, and displaying hyper-active behavior.

A Tired Dog is a Good Dog
A lot of these behavior issues can be resolved with consistent socialization and exercise. When dogs don’t get the exercise they need it is causes problems for dog owners and their communities. Regular exercise is the key ingredient to good health, good mental agility, and longevity for your dog.

A well exercised dog translates into happier people, happier pet, and fewer medical expenses. However, the truth is that dogs do not self exercise and play when they are left alone. Instead, dogs tend to shut down when they are by themselves because dogs are social animals.

A dog’s instincts tell them it is not good to be left alone or isolated from their pack. Dogs are entirely dependent on their humans for proper exercise, food, and health care. It is up to humans to provide adequate amounts of exercise for their beloved canine companions. For humans, a well exercised dog means coming home to a calm dog and a dog nicer to be around.

Story by Tracie Morgan, CDW
Dogs ‘N Sync, LLC

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