For the Immune System and Lifting Dog Depression
Helping your dogs exercise reduces stress, depression and
bad behavior. Here’s the link between lack of exercise and disease and ideas
for both physical and mental exercise for dogs.
We know our dogs would not be couch potatoes in the wild.
Exercise for dogs is a normal part of everyday living. They would
travel and they would hunt. Food would be the ultimate reward for their
The way we live now, this departure from what is natural, takes a tremendous toll on dog health, as it does with ours.
Every disease is positively impacted by your dogs exercise.
medical studies, billions of dollars are spent to prove the
effectiveness of drugs. When drugs are measured against exercise, the
drug often loses. Read more at Exercise and Disease.
Exercise and the Immune System
Did you know without physical activity, the lymph system shuts down?
When your dogs exercise, the body creates a need to stay fit. It feels
alive through movement, receives more oxygen and gets the immune system
running. (Read what is The Immune System)
Not only is stamina increased, the added oxygen and movement speed up
the metabolism, helping to detoxify and cleanse the canine body.
This natural method of out with the bad and in with the good,
increases resistance to disease. Remember, a couch potato (dog or
human) loses its resistance and more easily succumbs to disease and
Ideas for Your Dogs Exercise
Remember many of these ideas give you the opportunity to enhance your role as leader to your dog. Never
let your dog walk or run ahead of you. Not only will he be your leader,
which means he doesn't have to listen to you, but you put yourself at
risk of getting hurt! I've actually known folks with broken arms,
sprained legs and even a broken jaw from being pulled, dragged and
tripped by their dog!
- Run or jog with your dog by your side. It's a great bonding activity.
- Walk with him beside you. Don't let him stop to sniff or pee until you say so.
- A Backpack with a little weight will make her exert a little more energy during the activity of your choice. (The pack pack is for the dog silly, not you.)
- A Treadmill is a great choice for rainy days or your canine needs more physical activity than you do. (My dogs only want to get on it if I'm on it!)
- Throw a Ball, stick or toy. Whatever your dog will bring back will give him a workout, especially before a walk if he tends to pull.
- Chase the Light. Using a flashlight or penlight can keep her moving and both of you entertained.
- Jumping. A fun game for both of you. Try it! I was amazed to find out our Moo's nose can reach nearly 7 feet when jumping straight up from a standing position!
- Obstacle course Invent your own! As simple as
this sounds, my daughter's Lulu will naturally do a figure eight through
our legs until she's panting (or my legs sting too much from the whack
of her tail!)
- Search and Eat! This game uses instincts. Even though they're not running around it's still good exercise. I make them sit and wait in the doorway to the living room while I hide a dozen tiny treats. I do varying levels from plain sight to under a pillow or toy or chair. The waiting is hard for them as they shift from foot to foot. When I say "Okay!" They're off and searching. Not only are they using their nose, it's great entertainment for me!
- Flirt Pole Here's one I learned how to make
recently. It's great exercise for your dog (none for you) and helps you
teach simple commands. Dogs learn so much easier when they are having
fun. The video is by Bad Rap.org, a great group of folks in Oakland,
Training Video: Flirt Pole Basics from BADRAP.org on Vimeo.
If you make a flirt pole and use it, let me know how it goes!
And watch the whole thing. I LOVE the facial expression on the dog at
Dogs Exercise to Basic Dog Care