Here’s the breaking news — your dog NEEDS exercise! You might ask what’s so special about it? Even humans need exercise.
But dogs (and cats too) are slightly more dependent on exercise for a better quality of life. Naturally, dogs are very energetic and they need to burn that pool of energy for physical and mental stimulation.
Think of the example of zoomies. Most dogs, especially the puppies often madly rush through the house, mentally screaming — “I am speed!”
Why do dogs have zoomies?
It’s their natural way of using their pent-up energy. As puppies are naturally more energetic than the older dogs, they go through the short-burst zoomies more often.
Now, let’s get to the main point — what happens if your dog doesn’t get enough exercise and how to if he/she’s getting it enough?
The lack of exercise causes a big toll on their mental health. They gradually become bored and frustrated that can lead to an extreme lethargic lifestyle.
Studies suggest that dogs that have a healthy weight and exercise regularly live about two-and-a-half years longer than the counterpart. So, yes, exercise can help your best bud live longer.
Let’s check out some of the major indicators saying your dog is NOT getting enough exercise.
5 Signs Saying Your Dog Is NOT Getting Enough Exercise
Overweight or Gradual Weight Gain
This is perhaps the biggest sign telling you that your dog isn’t getting adequate exercise. Gradual weight gain is dependent on two factors — overeating and lack of exercise.
Sadly, about 56% of domestic dogs are overweight. So, owners often feel that their dogs aren’t getting enough exercise and start free-feeding.
Such actions are extremely damaging to the health of the dogs.
If your dog is gradually gaining weight, you should take a closer look at his/her food intake and amount of exercise.
Also, you need to create a diet and exercise plan based on the breed type and the age of your dog. You can’t follow any generic cookie-cutter exercise plan.
For example, Border Collies and Labradors are high-energy breeds and demand lots of physical activities. On the other hand, low-energy breeds like bulldogs don’t need intense exercise routines.
You might consult your vet or a certified dog trainer for a custom-made exercise routine that is suitable for both you and your dog.
Have you ever returned home and suddenly felt that it’s been through a hurricane? Chewed shoes, overturned furniture, massacred tissue papers are some of the common identifiers too.
Such destructive behaviors are signs that your dog isn’t getting enough exercise. Some intelligent dogs intentionally showcase the “bad dog” behaviors so that you understand that something is wrong and they want attention.
If you ever see your dog massacring your home, don’t get mad and scold. He’s just trying to say that you need to make time for him and take him to a walk.
Restlessness is quite similar to destructive behavior — your dog is trying to communicate with you.
What are the common signs to identify restlessness?
The biggest tell-tale sign is that your dog doesn’t want to sleep at night. He/she might even wake you up from sleep. Sometimes they bark continuously to let you know about their anxiety or boredom vocally.
As you can see, many identifiers tell you that they are getting restless.
With an ample amount of exercise, you’ll see their restlessness diminish over time.
The lack of exercise not only hampers physical fitness but also worsens mental health. If they are deprived of their adequate intensity of exercise, they become more frustrated day by day.
Eventually, they become depressed. Lethargy is one of the biggest notifiers of their depression.
However, lethargy and depression might also hint at an illness or serious physical conditions.
Please contact your vet if you see your dog getting depressed.
Oversleeping is another major identifier that often gets overlooked. Bored dogs often spend their time sleeping and being overly sluggish.
A proper amount of exercise keeps them active throughout the day. The opposite behavior will make them lazy and sleepy.
Sleepiness is basically the early stage of depression for the doggos.
How Much Exercise Do Dogs Need?
As I said, the amount of exercise is dependent on the breed and age of your dog. Puppies have more energy in general but too much exercise can do more harm than good.
Because puppies don’t have the same level of stamina as adults. Puppies should take part in short but high-intensive exercises — like a short burst.
Such sessions last about five to ten minutes based on the breed. You can use toys for better stimulation.
Adult dogs, on the other hand, need longer sessions but you should lower the intensity. Adults need about sixty to ninety minutes based on the breed.
Herding or sporting dogs like — Shepherds, Retrievers, Pointers, Border Collies — are some of the active breeds. Apart from the “walks,” you consider introducing flyballs, fetch, swimming. If you have an off-leash dog park nearby, take them there.
These friendly thrive with playmates too.
However, not all adult dogs need such a high-level of exercise.
Less active breeds like — Yorkies, Great Danes, Mastiffs, Pugs — are quite happy with a lower level of exercises. A slow walk around the block for half an hour is good enough for these dogs.
You can occasionally take them to a park and play fetch. That should be good enough.
Again, I’d like to remind you that the amount and intensity of exercise depend on multiple factors. You should consult an expert for optimum output.