5 Signs Your Dog Isn't Getting Enough Exercise

Feb 20, 2024 109 0
5 Signs Your Dog Isn't Getting Enough Exercise

Different breeds of dogs require varying amounts of appropriate exercise. 

German Shepherds, Border Collies, Corgis, and other similar breeds require high-intensity physical and mental exercise. They should ideally get at least 120-180 minutes of daily exercise per day, with smaller breeds needing slightly less. Short-legged breeds are not suitable for prolonged high-energy activities and should engage in short, segmented sessions throughout the day.

Golden Retrievers, Labrador Retrievers, German Shorthaired Pointers, Spanish Water Dogs, American Water Spaniels, and Cocker Spaniels, among others, also require high-intensity physical activity and moderate mental stimulation. They should aim for at least 120-180 minutes of exercise per day.

Greyhounds, Afghan Hounds, Dachshunds, Beagles, Foxhounds, and Irish Wolfhounds have higher activity needs, requiring at least 120 minutes of exercise per day.

Schnauzers, Scottish Terriers, West Highland White Terriers, Yorkshire Terriers, Cairn Terriers, and Fox Terriers have moderate activity needs, requiring at least 90-120 minutes of exercise per day.

Bulldogs, Doberman Pinschers, Great Danes, Huskies, Rottweilers, and others require moderate physical and mental activity, with at least 60 minutes per day, some larger breeds may need 120-180 minutes.

Breeds like Huskies, Dobermans, Eskimo Dogs, Bichon Frises, Shar-Peis, Bull Terriers, Miniature Poodles, and Maltese Terriers are suitable for light physical and moderate mental activity. Smaller breeds may need 30-60 minutes, while larger breeds may need 60-120 minutes.

In 2020, pet ownership in the United States reached an all-time high, with approximately 11.38 million American households welcoming new furry companions during the pandemic. Over the past few months of working from home, our cuddly friends have been craving much-needed exercise and attention.

As you return to work, the reduced frequency of regular exercise and separation anxiety may lead to weight gain in our pampered pooches. If you notice your dog looking more pudgy than usual or lacking energy, look out for the potential signs listed below, indicating your dog isn't getting enough exercise. Hopefully, these vital indicators can help you strike a proper balance between work and your dog's well-being.

Weight Gain

One of the simplest signs that your dog isn't getting enough exercise is, of course, weight gain. Overweight dogs require more activity to achieve and maintain a healthy weight, which can lead to a range of health issues. The feeling and prominence of a dog's ribs are a primary indicator of weight problems, says Dr. Sara Ochoa, a practicing veterinarian at Whitehouse Veterinary Hospital in Whitehouse, Texas and veterinary consultant for DogLab. "If you can't easily feel their ribs without pressing hard, then that dog is overweight," she says. It's difficult to feel the ribs of overweight dogs because the area is covered by fat.

Behavioral Changes

Just like adult humans, our dogs need an outlet for energy, requiring enough exercise to maintain an appropriate weight. When your dog becomes bored, lethargic, or depressed, you can start to tell if your dog is lacking exercise. This often manifests as destructive behavior or aggression.

Key signs of destructive behavior may include digging in the garden, chewing personal items, rummaging through trash, or leaving fecal "presents" around the house. When you're not at home, you can use wooden pet barrier to prevent your dog from accessing certain areas. These useful pet accessories offer a broader range of choices to deter our destructive dogs.

Depression or Anxiety

Exercise is not just physical; it's also mental. Dogs, like humans, need activity to maintain their mental and emotional well-being. Without enough exercise, dogs may become depressed or anxious, a situation more likely to occur when pet owners return to the office. With less time spent adventuring or playing with humans, weight gain may occur, and the lack of motivation due to separation anxiety and depression sets in. Ensuring your dog can freely move outdoors is key to combating potential weight gain and overall health. 

Lack of Exercise

Exercise may be crucial for maintaining weight, but ensuring our dogs have healthy bones and joints is equally important. As dogs become less active, their muscles weaken, making them more susceptible to injury and joint issues, leading to mobility problems. More importantly, the cardiovascular system won't receive its due usage, potentially leading to heart issues and weakened immune support.

Excessive Barking

Many dogs bark because they feel bored, especially when not entertained while you're away. Since dogs don't have many ways to communicate their feelings to us, continual or excessive barking is often seen as their only way to gain our attention. Their message is often simple—they want to go out and play! Too much pent-up energy often manifests as vocalization in dogs. Installing a dog door or other types of outdoor pet passages will provide your dog with opportunities for entertainment and exercise when you're not at home. This not only benefits your lonely dog but we believe your neighbors will also appreciate it.

The past few years of home isolation and lockdown have impacted all of us, including our dogs. As we move forward and seek a new normal, we also need to strive to find the right work/life balance, allowing our pets time to adjust to the new daily routine. Allowing them access to external areas of your home through a pet door is the first step in providing them with entertainment and distraction when you're not at home.

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