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Modern dogs are the offspring of their ancient, wild ancestor, the wolf. From scavenging for food to defending their territory, dogs originally had extraordinarily active and social lifestyles. But as dogs were domesticated their daily routines became more sedentary. Certain types were bred to hunt or to work the farm for their master, but as a whole, domesticated dogs were relegated to become house pets, and their exercise was reduced to an occasional walk. At Anasazi Animal Clinic, we understand your dog is meant to be active, and without exercise and play, their health and well-being will suffer.

Results From Lack of Activity

When your dog stays inside all day long, he builds up energy, and without a release, he may begin to act out. Here are a few signs your dog may be begging for some exercise and play:

  • He is hyperactive, excitable, and active during nighttime hours
  • He acts in destructive ways, like scratching, digging, and chewing
  • He is overly curious and gets into trouble
  • He is too aggressive in its play with other dogs or humans and may bite
  • He is unruly, knocking things over and jumping on people
  • He displays attention-getting behaviors like barking and whining

Benefits of Exercise

Regular and appropriate activity can have tremendous health advantages for your dog. Here are a few of the benefits of exercising your pooch:

  • Calm unwanted behaviors (like those listed above)
  • Maintain muscular strength and agility
  • Keep the digestive system on track
  • Increase your bond—dogs are very social creatures and love to play!

Not All Dogs Were Created Equal

When it comes to exercise, the kind of activity you choose for your dog depends on age and breed. Smaller dogs with shorter legs won’t need as much exercise as larger, long-legged canine varieties. Breeds with flat noses can have trouble breathing and should not undertake too much extended or strenuous activity. Older dogs will require a more gentle walk or play.

Check out this link for some fun and creative ways to exercise your dog, and if you’re unsure whether a particular activity will be beneficial for your dog, don’t hesitate to ask one of our skilled veterinarians at Anasazi Animal Clinic. We love to see your pets happy and healthy!

Images used under creative commons license – commercial use (1/21/2018) Maja Dumat (Flickr)

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