My advice to anyone who has a dog is that exercise is key. It’s so important for not only the physical health of your dog, but mental and emotional health as well. What I hear a lot of the time is “well, i have a small breed dog and she doesn’t like to run around too much. She would rather just lay around the house.” Sure, you might have a dog that isn’t as active as other dogs. A Shih Tzu might not want to play as much as a German Shepherd, that’s valid. However, that doesn’t mean that the Shih Tzu doesn’t want to play, walk, or run at all. Has your dog actually told you that he doesn’t want to exercise? I doubt it.

     When we as humans bring a pet into our homes they become 100% our responsibility. And as responsible pet owners we need to make sure we are doing our part to fulfill the lives of our pets as much as they fulfill ours. Relationships are two way streets and our dogs have to trust us completely, that we will take care of them. Having a dog is no easy task! It takes time, commitment, money, and sacrifice. If you have a dog, but your neighbors don’t know you have a dog, that’s a problem. That means you aren’t exercising your dog nearly as much as you should. When I say that exercise is key, I mean that it’s the answer to a lot of issues that dog owners have with their dogs. If you exercise your dog this is the outcome:

  1. Happy dog!
  2. Happy you! Yes, you will also be happier because exercising your dog outdoors will also encourage you to be out there too. Think about how you feel after you’ve been out for a walk, or on a hike. It’s a good feeling!
  3. Less neurotic, anxious behavior. This includes things like coming home to chewed up furniture and shoes. As well as excessive barking and accidents on the floor. 
  4. Physical health increases. Better mobility, longer life, fit shape. Basically all the benefits we get as humans if we workout.
  5. Mental health increases resulting in #3 above.
  6. Socialization with other people and other dogs really helps teach your dog how to interact with the world. Life lessons!
  7. Bonding. If you love your dog, exercising with her regularly will increase the bond between the two of you even more!

      So, really challenge yourself to make time for exercise with your dog every day. Even if its a quick 15 minutes of fetch or a walk around the neighborhood before work. Your dog will love you for it.