Exercise is an important factor to helping your dog lead a healthy life. No matter what age your dog is, consistent exercise will help release their energy and also keep them in good physical shape. As a responsible dog owner, you should be setting a standard for the minimum amount of exercise that your dog will get over the course of a week.
With the cold and snowy weather outside, you may be resistant to venture out with your dog. While it’s nice to stay warm and indoors on these chilly days, do you notice your dog displaying more frustration and boredom behaviors, such as destructive chewing, pacing or excessive barking? The primary cause of these may be as simple as not getting enough exercise. Part of being a responsible pet owner is making sure your dog gets adequate exercise no matter the time of year. The easiest way to eliminate frustration, boredom and anxious behaviors is to make an exercise plan.
This plan is easy to formulate and should consist of the bare minimum amount of exercise that you will do with your dog for each week. Writing this plan down and clearly following it is key to successfully ridding your dog of these frustrating behaviors. Your exercise plan should include walks outside as well as active games like fetch. Posting a copy of the week’s schedule in a common area is a great way to make sure that everyone in the family follows it. If you have kids, make it a reward game for them too! Putting the plan in writing and posting it in a common spot gives you motivation and leaves no room for excuses. It helps to ensure that your dog gets the exercise they need.
The reason a plan is so important is that it directly shows the correlation between a lack of physical activity and behaviors that any pet owner would find undesirable. Start with a basic plan and after two to three weeks, go back and evaluate. Is your dog’s current amount of activity changing their frustration and boredom behaviors? If the answer is no, you need to increase the amount of activity your dog is getting and reevaluate in two to three more weeks.
Plan your dog’s physical activity schedule and make sure their exercise is as evenly distributed as possible. We’ve made a sample of a plan and contract that you can easily print out for yourself and start using! Download your own copy below and get started today.