The Impact of Exercise on Your Dog’s Mental Health

The Impact of Exercise on Your Dog's Mental Health

They say a tired dog is a happy dog; there’s more truth to this adage than meets the eye. Dogs are naturally active and are full of energy. This energy must go somewhere. Otherwise, they will catch different diseases. And, of course, this is the last thing a pet owner will ever think of. So, exercise is how your dogs can utilize their energy and avoid problem behaviors.

The best thing about exercise is there are multiple ways to do it. Your dog can expend energy in a dog park or an engaging fetch game. You might be aware of the benefits of exercise for their physical health, like weight management, fitness, and more. So, we will focus on the benefits of exercise for your mental health.

Read on to discover the amazing benefits of exercise for your mental health.

Link Between Physical Activity and Mental Health

We don’t need a scientific reason to say that physical fitness translates into mental health. When physically fit and active, we feel confident and happy, which leads to a great mental state. This holds for dogs as well.

Animal researchers have identified that exercise increases the blood supply to the brain and enhances the growth of new neurons in the hippocampus, a part of the brain linked to memory and learning in dogs.

One popular theory also claims that exercise releases endorphin hormones considered natural mood elevators. So, scientific research also favors the mental health benefits of exercise on dogs.

Reduces Stress

Dogs are social animals. They thrive on interaction and exploration. So, what will happen if you bind them indoors? They won’t feel happy. How often did you go on a long walk to relieve stress?

Dogs are not different at all. They also need a daily dose of exercise to burn extra energy. This, in turn, reduces their stress and anxiety.

So, the next time you watch your pooch happily trotting alongside you on a nature trail or chasing a ball in the backyard, know they are getting rid of their stress.

Enhances Bonding

Exercise also offers a great opportunity to strengthen your bond with your furry friend. When you go on a long walk with your dog, your dog gets closer to you. Similarly, a game of fetch keeps both of you engaged, which passively increases your relationship with your buddy.

Your dog’s sense of companionship when you spend time with them is undeniable. Have you seen the YouTube videos of Jenna Marbles’ Italian Greyhound Kermit? If not, let us tell you about Jenna and her dog’s unique bond.

Jenna said in her videos that they always travel together. They stay together whether it’s about enjoying outdoor activities or exploring new destinations. These shared experiences have strengthened the bond between them.

Keeps Brain Sharp

A study has shown that physical activity enhances brain functions. The research was conducted on more than 15000 dogs to study dog’s dementia. It has been shown that inactive dogs are 5.5 times more likely to develop dementia than active dogs of the same age.

Besides, dogs are intelligent animals. They need a daily dose of mental challenge to avoid boredom and behavioral issues. Activities like puzzle toys, agility courses, or even a game of fetch stimulate cognitive functions.

This meets their mental stimulation needs and avoids boredom-related behavioral issues, such as destructive chewing or barking.

Improves Sleep

If your pup is having trouble settling down at night, a bit of extra playtime during the day might do the trick. Regular exercise leads to better sleep patterns. Exercise burns their extra energy and recharges them by helping them with a peaceful sleep. And, of course, healthy sleep results in healthy physical and mental health.

Tips for Exercising Dogs When Short on Time

In the hustle and bustle of daily life, it’s difficult to take out plenty of time to meet your dog’s exercise needs. But don’t worry; you won’t need to spend the whole day; just a few quick activities can fulfill the task. Here are a few ways to ensure your dog is getting enough amount of exercise, even if the time is short:

  • Quick Outdoor Walks

Take them on a quick stroll during the day. Short and more frequent walks are enough to trigger their mental stimulations and physical activity.

  • High-Intensity Play Sessions

If the time is limited, opt for high-intensity play to burn their extra energy. For instance, tug of war and fetch will do the trick.

  • Dog Daycare

You can consider daycare facilities to provide your dog with the necessary exercise. Such facilities offer a supervised and controlled environment where experienced staff offer the utmost care.

  • Interactive Toys

Buy them interactive toys so they can engage in activities even in your absence. Toys, like treat dispensing toys and puzzle feeders, will keep your dogs engaged and entertained.

  • Hire a Dog Walker

Exercise should never be compromised. So, if you cannot take them on walks, hiring a dog walker is the best alternative. These professionals understand dogs’ physical exercise requirements and meet them in the best possible way.

Final Words

Exercise is not an option; it’s an integral part of your dog’s daily routine. If you don’t want an obese or anxious dog, you must take some time to ensure their physical activity.

The benefits of exercise on the physical health of dogs are known, but there are great mental health benefits as well. So, if you often skip the exercise sessions of your furry pooch, these mental health benefits will certainly encourage you. After all, a happy dog makes for a happy home!

Author Bio: M. Hassan Iqbal is an experienced digital marketing specialist with 3 years of SEO and content writing expertise. I provide these services to various companies, consistently achieving real results by improving their online rankings. If you’re looking for excellent digital marketing services, I’m only a click away.

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