By Bonnie O’Connor
I’m sure there are times when we’re just not ready to take our dog for a walk or play a game of haul. But what does that mean for our dog? How important is exercise? And what can we do to make it fun for them and us?
When you’re at work, your dog is around the house all day. Dogs are active outdoor animals who must exercise regularly to maintain their mental and physical health.
I could never miss a daily walk with my cute girl, she made sure of that as she sat in the hallway and stared at me and threw her head at the door! Found this to be one of the best things we did together as well as trips around town or to the coffee shop to hang out. My home at home to work and do things together created a strong bond.
According to the ASPCA, some behavioral problems that can result from a lack of play and exercise can include: destructive chewing or digging, garbage picking, hyperactivity, rough play, barking, or whining for attention. A well-trained dog is less anxious and more mentally engaged. According to Jessica Peralta, journalist and animal lover, there are five ways that playing and exercising can improve your dog’s mental health:
• Playing can promote calm and reduce anxiety.
• Walks keep dogs connected to the world and stimulate the brain.
• The playing time can also serve as study time.
• Playing games can help satisfy natural instincts.
• Playing and exercising can be a time to connect with you.
At Redlands Friends of Shelter Animals (REDFOSA), trainers agree that keeping your dog moving is good for keeping a dog’s body and mind in balance, building healthy and happy relationships, and increasing strength, flexibility and heart Increase circulatory health.
Some tips from our trainers to help you exercise and play with your dog include walking, hiking, swimming, coursing, dragging, fetching, eating puzzles, hide and seek, and trick training.
California weather is perfect for being outside with your dog. So, move around, play games, and go for a walk to create a stronger bond with your best friend.
For more information or to connect with a REDFOSA trainer, visit redfosa.org online or call 909-255-1644.
Bonnie O’Connor lives in Redlands and is the owner of Paws and Relax Pet Massage and a member of Redlands Friends of Shelter Animals (REDFOSA).