Regardless of the breed, age, or size of your dog it’s essential that they exercise regularly. Diet and exercise are the first lines of defense when it comes to tackling both physical and mental problems in dogs.
Everyone wants their fur baby to be well behaved, but what many owners don’t realize is that dogs, like children, can develop bad behaviors that need to be corrected before they become compulsive.
In this blog, we’ll explore how lack of exercise could be causing behavioral issues in your dog and how to alleviate them.
What Type of behavioral Issues Are Common Amongst Dogs?
By nature, dogs are active creatures, with a need for constant stimulation and exercise. Even the smallest of dogs have a lot of energy, which needs to be channeled appropriately.
It’s safe to say that nobody wants a “bad dog”. Not only can it cause you stress and anxiety around walking, socializing or leaving your dog, but it can cause you to worry about the health and happiness of your dog.
Recent studies have shown that if there is no stimulation and exercise then this may manifest itself in problem behaviors such as:
- Constant Chewing
- Destructive Behavior
- Excessive Licking
- Excessing Barking
- Aggressive Behavior
Let’s look at how these behaviors might look in a little more detail..
1. Constant Chewing
Have you ever left your dog only to come home and they’ve destroyed a couch cushion? Chewing comes naturally to dogs, but when they chew everything in their path it’s a problem.
So, why does your dog chew everything? Is it because they are hungry?
Perhaps, but dogs usually chew things when they are bored and need something to fill their time or channel their energy into.
Exercising your dog regularly can help ensure that your dog's pent-up energy is used more constructively.
2. Destructive Behavior
Does your dog enjoy destroying furniture, tearing up cushions, or scratching walls?
Then they might be suffering from separation anxiety, which can manifest in destructive behavior. This can happen due to many reasons, including the death of someone in the family, being left alone for a long period of time or being housed in a shelter with no home.
Whatever the reason is, destructive behavior is bad for your dog and everyone in your family.
One way to deal with separation anxiety is to get your dog to do plenty of exercises as it releases endorphins or feels good chemicals in the brain that will calm your dog and help them to deal with anxiety and stress.
3. Excessive Licking
Licking is a natural behavior in dogs, but excessive licking can trigger issues, like lick granulomas which will cause the skin to get aggravated.
The reasons behind licking can be anything from boredom to anxiety.
The important part to note is licking releases endorphins – the same feel-good chemicals that are released during exercise. So, the aim is to release these endorphins via something more healthy and constructive such as exercise.
4. Excessive Barking
Dogs bark to communicate with other dogs or alert their owners to something such as a presence at the doorway.
But what does excessive barking mean?
Excessive barking is usually a way for your furry friends to express anxiety or fear of something. It can be caused by anything, for example, being around dogs they don’t feel comfortable with.
Getting your dog to exercise early will not only boost their confidence, but will also help to develop their socializing skills. Walking or playing in the park are good exercises that will help make your dog more confident and sociable.
5. Aggressive Behavior
Aggressive behavior in dogs is another concern among dog parents. It’s often considered that some dog breeds are more aggressive than others, and have pre-existing aggressive tendencies in them.
However, while there is no clear evidence to back such arguments experts believe that certain factors such as boredom and loneliness in dogs are one of the major reasons that aggressive behavior is aggravated.
Pet experts recommend a good 30-120 minutes of exercise for dogs can help treat aggressive behavior in them.
What Are The Other Benefits Of Exercise For Your Dog?
Exercising is not only great for helping to ease behavioral problems. There are a number of other benefits, including:
- Stress and anxiety reduction
- Lower blood pressure
- Stronger heart
- Relief from joint pain and prolonged arthritis
- Strong bones
- Good sleep patterns
- Balanced weight
- Good digestion and strong immunity
It is proven that a tired dog is a good and happy dog. When you ensure your dog exercises regularly, they will come home tired and will sleep well.
If your dog’s energy is used, then they will have less to expend on so-called bad behavior.
Moreover, exercising also produces endorphins which, as we already discussed in this article will have a positive effect on your dog and will help them remain more cheerful and happy.
How Do I Exercise My Dog?
There are a variety of exercises that you can do to help your dog expend their energy. The idea is to get them to do healthy movements, regardless of what they are.
You can start by walking out your dog – on-leash or off-leash whichever suits you and your pooch. On-leash, you are having control over your dog while they walk with you. Off-leash on the other hand is when you let your dog off the guard to run around at his own pace, exploring their surroundings.
There are some other exercises that you can do with your dog:
Ps. Before getting your pup to do any of these exercises, make sure they are healthy enough to carry them out.
Throw And FetchThis one will never get old with dogs. You can throw anything you have lying around from sticks, balls or anything your dog likes to play with. They can bring it back to you, and repeat until they are tired.
JoggingThis one will keep you healthy too. If your dog is fit enough, you can have them accompany you on a long run. Not only will it utilise their energy, but it will give you a little company on a run.
SwimmingMost dogs are great swimmers, and swimming is a great way to burn those extra calories and excess energy. Plus, it will help your pup to build a strong physique and immune system.
HikingSome dogs are more suited to hiking than others, and you should make sure their limbs are developed enough to handle the repetitive impact. However, hiking is a great form of exercise for you and your dog. It builds physical strength and mental clarity. Plus allows your dog to explore new sights and smells.
Train The Brain
Physical activities are always great for improving health. But if you have a smart dog, challenge them to some brain games.
You can play some fun tricks with them like hiding their treats under a cup and then mixing up with several cups while asking them to find out. It will increase brain activity and agility in your dog.
How To Deal With Behavioral Problems If Your Dog Can’t Exercise...
Although exercise is a must-have in a dog’s healthy regime, there could be some health-related issues that mean that your dog cannot exercise. If this sounds like your dog then we recommend that you consult us to understand what exercises your dog is able to safely do.
Exercise is essential for the overall health of your dog; however, it is not the only way to treat the behavioral issues in your dog. Again, talk to one of our team to find out how to help treat any behavioral issues if exercise is off the table.
So, Can Exercise Help Improve Your Dog’s Behavioral Issues?
Alongside food, exercise is a crucial component of your dog’s health. But lack of exercise can not only result in an unhealthy dog. It can manifest via behavioral issues such as excessive chewing and aggressive behavior.
One of the ways that you can alleviate these negative behavioral issues is by ensuring that your dog gets plenty of exercises. In addition, to help with these behavioral issues, exercise will ensure that your dog is stimulated and healthy.
But, we know that alone, exercise is not enough for a healthy dog. You also need to ensure that they are eating the correct food. Food that focuses on the nutritional aspect, and improves your dog’s overall health.
If you are not sure what food to feed your dog then explore our range of products to discover the right dog food for your pet.
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