Why exercise is so Important ?

Dog owners know how much their canine companions adore sharing an afternoon jaunt or dashing after a ball in the park. But exercise is much more than just huge fun – it’s also doing your dog a whole lot of good.

“A good exercise program will help keep your dog from becoming overweight, which has been linked to health problems such as heart disease, respiratory difficulties and arthritis in dogs,” says M. Christine Zink, D.V.M., PH .D. a lecturer in pathology at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine in Baltimore, Maryland, and author of Peak Performance: Coaching the Canine Athlete. Regular exercise will also expand your dog’s lung and heart capacity, and will help give her good stamina and lots of all-round energy.

The well-exercised dog is less likely to get bored or restless and develop troublesome traits, such as digging, barking and chewing.

“Exercise causes the release of endorphins in the brain,” explains Dr. Zink. These are chemicals that give your dog a great feeling of well-being. And what better way to keep her content than with a natural high?

Keeping Fit:
Exercise is for fun and for fitness. But throwing a leash on your dog and strolling down the street at a snail’s pace for five minutes isn’t going to do the trick. She needs more of a muscular and cardiovascular workout than that to get her legs heart and lungs going more than usual. She needs a proper exercise and conditioning program, and if you’re going to take the time and energy to exercise your dog, you might as well make it satisfying and worthwhile for her. It will help her develop strength and endurance, and her timing, balance and coordination will improve. You might even find that you start to see and feel some benefits, too.

“A good conditioning program combines cardiovascular work, flexibility, strength work, speed work and weight control,” explains Mike Bond, agility judge, owner-instructor of Agility Ability school in Naperville, Illinois, and a regular columnist for front and finish, a newspaper devoted to dog obedience training.

A dog needs muscular strength so she can move her body in whatever way she wants to go. She also needs this strength to accelerate fast and get up to speed when she’s running, jumping and playing. And it will help her avoid injury, as well as improve her joint stability.

Endurance training helps your dog keep going over the long term. If she jogs long distances or competes in field trails or other types of sustained activity, then she will really appreciate this. Conditioning and exercise will also strengthen the muscle fibers, and you will have a thoroughly toned dog, says Dr. Zink.

Exercise is also one of the best ways to keep your dog’s weight under control. Feeding smaller portions will probably make her thinner, but burning off excess calories with an exercise program will not only make her thin, it will also make her fit. Letting a dog spend an extra hour or two outside in the backyard won’t do either, say Dr. Bond, because most dogs don’t get much of a workout just puttering around. Conditioning is the key.

Keeping your dog fit is an everyday thing, and conditioning an out – of – shape dog take time. But that’s time the two of you get to hand out together having fun, getting rid of her excess energy and keeping her healthy and happy.

Safe Beginnings:
If all these benefits make you want to put on your running shoes and take your dog along on a five-mile run, that’s great, as long as she likes five miles run and you work up to it gradually. Before starting her on an exercise program, ask your vet to give her a complete physical, advises Dr. Zink. You’ll get a good idea of her general health, and you’ll also know if she has any conditions, such as a heart murmur, diabetes or hip dysplasia, which could mean that certain types of exercise are a problem for her.

Even if your dog has a health problem, she still needs to exercise and be fit. Your vet will put together an exercise regimen for her that she will enjoy and that gets her in good shape without causing her any discomfort.