All dogs need consistent exercise regardless of their size, breed and age. Dogs whose routine includes exercise are better behaved and healthier. Dogs who receive regular exercise are more focused, listen better and are less likely to engage in destructive behavior.
Dogs with too much energy can become restless and develop anxiety-related behaviors, such as chewing, digging and barking. Dogs require both physical and mental stimulation every day in order to be happy and healthy. Most problem behaviors can be attributed to lack of stimulation. A bored dog will find something to do, it is in your best interest to find activities that you approve of and that your dog enjoys. Properly caring for your dogs should be enjoyable and enriching for the both of you.
Establishing an exercise program will keep your dog fit, burn off energy and become a natural way to prevent trips to the vet. How often and how long you should work out with them depends on their size, age and breed. Physical exercise is not limited to walking or jogging around the neighborhood. Here are some other ways to work out with your dog:
- Fetch – throw a ball or frisbee and allow them chase and return the toy.
- Take a hike – find a dog friendly, off leash trail and allow them to explore new sites and smells.
- Off-leash dog park – taking your pup to an off-leash dog park allows them to play with other dogs and work on their social skills.
- Go swimming – if your dog loves water, take them swimming. Some dogs need life jackets so make sure to research what is the safest way to take your dog swimming.
- Agility sports – depending on your dog’s breed they may have a natural ability to learn and compete in sports designed for their breed.
Mental stimulation can be just as much of a work out as any physical activities. It is important to challenge and engage your dog mentally to keep their minds sharp as they age. Mental workouts are great for injured dogs, senior dogs and bad weather days that keep your pup indoors. There are many enrichment activities designed to keep their minds both active and stimulated. The best mental workouts for your dog will depend on their age, size and breed.
Here are some ways to work out with your dog mentally:
- Work to eat toys – Feed your dogs with a work to eat toy by packing their food inside it. Your dog will see it as a game as they work to move the toy around to release their treat. You can change the difficulty levels by packing the toys tighter with food and for an even bigger challenge, you can also try freezing them.
- Chew toys – Providing your dog with plenty of chew toys will keep them busy and give them options. Chewing is instinctual to dogs and a favorite pastime for most pups. Instead of trying to teach them not to chew, give them things that are okay and safe for them to chew.
- Scavenger hunt – Tap into your dogs’ natural instincts to hunt and sniff by hiding their favorite treats around the house. Placing treats under bowls, cups and behind things is a way to enrich the activity and keep them mentally engaged in the task at hand.
If you take the time to work out with your dog you will notice an improvement in their behavior. Giving them lots of physical and mental stimulation by providing activities and allowing time for them to get their energy out will keep your dogs happy and healthy. Dogs who work out bark less, sleep more, are less likely to destructively chew. They are also better able to relax when they are left alone.
Importance of Proper Nutrition
A healthy well balanced diet is a vital part of working out with your dog. It is important to do your research when selecting what to feed your dog. You will want to make sure your dogs food is made from high quality ingredients and that their food is nutritionally complete and balanced. When selecting what the best diet is for your pet it is important to check with their vet for nutritional advice. Different dog breeds have different nutritional needs. Their diet affects their energy levels, skin, coat and gut health. Dog owners are moving away from feeding dogs processed food and are instead turning to a more natural, raw food diet.
Raw Dog Food Diet
A Raw Dog Food Diet refers to feeding your dog’s Biologically Appropriate Raw Foods (BARF). Many types of both wet food and dry kibble contain large amounts of fillers, artificial colouring, grains and additives that may not be safe to feed your dog. There are many health benefits that have been linked to feeding your dog the BARF diet. A diet of raw and natural ingredients can alleviate itchiness and skin conditions associated with allergies. Natural vitamins and minerals that have not been cooked or processed help to maintain healthy skin, joints and immune system function. A BARF diet has also been attributed to helping reduce tartar build-up on a dog’s teeth. Dogs who have raw food diets have stronger teeth and better breath. Because dogs are in the carnivore family, a raw diet should be high in protein, have minimal amounts of carbohydrates, and a moderate amount of fat. A well balanced BARF diet will consist of organ meat, raw muscle, meaty bones, fruit and vegetables.
Albion makes the switch to raw dog food easy by creating a product made with vegetables, human grade meats and high other high quality ingredients to keep your dog safe, healthy and happy. Our products do not contain rice, eggs, additives, preservatives or other ingredients found in processed food that cause various health problems. Only natural minerals and vitamins can be found in the meals, nothing added, just healthy food made from the highest quality ingredients.
We have put together a guide as to what foods to include in her diet during the gestation period and after the birth that can help your dog have a full and healthy litter.
We offer a wide choice of meat and fish varieties in our meals, along with fruit and vegetables. Find out more information about the health benefits of these raw ingredients.