But yours is not. Your faithful companion is a big lazy one. Moreover, in your case, the term fat is justified on different levels because as your dog does not move, he is fatter and fatter. To be in good physical and mental health, your dog must have regular physical activity. How to encourage him to be active? Here are some ideas to achieve this.
Why does a dog need to be active?
The benefits of physical activity in dogs
To be healthy, we need to be active. Know that the rule is the same in dogs. Canines must eat a balanced diet in reasonable quantities. In addition, they must have regular physical activity. This allows you to:
- limit the risk of being overweight,
- maintain good muscle strength,
- improve flexibility,
- reduce the risk of disease.
In addition, physical activity helps your dog age well. Because the benefits are many, you need to make sure your dog gets enough movement.
How much physical exercise does a dog need?
It is difficult to precisely define the physical activity needs of a dog. Indeed, the latter depends on the breed of your dog, its age, and its size. Here are some benchmarks.
- The Jack Russell, the Yorkshire, the Terriers, the Border Collies, the Labrador or the Golden Retrievers need to do between 1 and 2 hours of physical activity per day.
- Chihuahuas and Maltese Bichons, on the other hand, only need 30 minutes a day.
For all breeds, it is necessary to offer at least 30 minutes of activity per day. Do you have a puppy? To know the quantity of physical exercise to propose to a puppy, a formula exists. Multiply the number of months by 5.
5 x age in months = number of minutes of physical exercise
For example, if your dog is 4 months old, the calculation is 5 x 4 = 20. You must provide at least 20 minutes of activity.
If you have an older dog, adapt to its physical abilities. It is not necessary to reduce the duration of activities. It is enough to promote exercises such as swimming or walking.
The risks of obesity in dogs
A dog suffers from obesity when its weight exceeds by 15 to 20% the weight that it should be or when it is impossible to its ribs. The risk of obesity is greater in certain breeds. Those with predispositions are:
- the Basset Hound,
- the Beagle,
- German Shepherd,
- the English Bulldog,
- the pug,
- the Collie,
- the Golden Retriever,
- the Dachshund.
Know that sterilized dogs gain weight more easily. This sometimes excessive overweight is very dangerous for your health. It can be the cause of cardiac disorders, respiratory disorders, cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, osteoarthritis, and sometimes calculations. Being overweight in dogs also tends to reduce immunity. In general, obesity reduces the life expectancy of animals. As a reminder, this is between 10 and 13 years.
To fight against obesity in dogs, you must feed your animal well and make sure that he moves enough.
How do you encourage a dog to be active?
Whether your dog is overweight or not, it is important that he is active throughout his life. Sometimes you have to encourage it. Here are some ideas for increasing your faithful companion’s physical exercise.
Increase daily walks
Every day you have to walk your dog. These walks allow the animal to relieve itself, to walk or run, and to use its senses. It’s incredibly beneficial. Know that once your dog reaches adulthood, in other words when he is one year old, he must be walked 3 to 4 times a day. Each of these outings must last at least 15 minutes. If your dog is lazy, you can increase the number of walks or their duration.
Attention! If you have a garden, it is still necessary to walk your dog. Your exterior is not enough for your dog to have real activity. It won’t work enough.
Take your dog on weekend outings
If when the weekend comes you go for a walk, take your dog with you. He will appreciate your presence as much as the outing. Whether you go to the countryside, to the mountains or to the beach, you can be accompanied by your pet. Check before the weekend that the animal is allowed in the places you want to discover. There are many places where dogs are welcome. Also, you can get into the habit of taking your dog wherever you go, whether on weekends or on vacation.
Play with your dog
Dogs don’t like to play if they are alone. They prefer to have a playmate. When you can, make time to play with your faithful companion. There are many dog toys and therefore many games to do with him. It is possible to tug of war or throw a ball at it. If you have a waterhole nearby, you can take your dog swimming. If your pet is overweight, this activity is particularly recommended.
do a canine activity
Dog sports are becoming more democratic and it is now possible to find an activity to do, in a club or not, with your pet. Regardless of your dog’s breed, you can practice the following dog sports.
- Cani-racing is a very simple activity that consists of running with your dog. You have to wait until the animal has finished growing. In the same spirit, you can practice cani-walking or cani-cross.
- Flyball is very popular with dogs. For this activity, you need a suitable Frisbee that the dog catches on the fly. Sometimes a course must also be completed. Vigilance is required with this exercise, which requires your dog to be able to jump.
- Dog dancing is a pleasant activity also called Obé-rythmée. The goal is to create a sequence and carry it out with your dog.
- Agility is a canine activity that consists of having your dog do an obstacle course. This one must pass in tunnels, slalom between the studs, and jump at various heights.
At home, you can also encourage your dog to be more active. You can play hide and seek with him or hide kibble. You can also create an indoor course for him. Of course, you have to have enough space. If you have an exterior, use it!
Adopt another dog
Sometimes, for a dog to be less lazy, it is necessary to adopt a second dog. So the animals can play together. Make sure the two canines get along. To do this, you need to pay close attention to the breeds and their temperament. Of course, this advice is not applicable to everyone. You need to have the space and the resources to adopt a second dog. The goal remains to ensure the well-being of his pets.
Physical activity of the dog: our advice
Know that for your outings with your dog to go as well as possible, it is best not to plan them right after a meal. Likewise, if it is too hot, wait until the temperatures are warmer. Even though dogs don’t sweat as much as we do during physical activity, they need to stay hydrated to regulate their body temperature.
As we have already said, even if you have a garden, you must walk your dog. It is possible that his lack of enthusiasm is linked to weariness. When you walk your animal, it uses its sense of smell and discovers the environment. Sometimes he even gets to know a fellow creature.
Finally, if your dog is really lacking in energy, it may be a good idea to make an appointment with your veterinarian. It is possible that he suffers from an illness or depression. In both cases, with the professional, you can help your faithful companion and maximize its quality of life.
Here is another important article about 7 common dog health problems every owner should know.