Animal Friends Pet Insurance is encouraging owners to take inspiration from the Olympics and get active with their dogs. As workout partners, dogs could offer their owner’s enthusiasm, energy and much needed support.
With the Olympics having come to an end, it has been expected that more people will be inspired to take up a sport or get fit. There are estimated to be around 8 million dogs in the UK and currently 20% of owners consider their dog to be fantastic workout partners. Animal Friends is asking owners “why not increase this percentage and get active and outside with your dogs?”
Dogs love to be outdoors and integrating them into an exercise plan can have a very beneficial effect. As workout partners, dogs offer their owner’s enthusiasm, energy and much needed support. Big or small, young or old, dogs need to exercise daily; without daily activity, dogs can become easily bored, frustrated and destructive. Walking a dog can make the difference between getting out and about and deciding to stay indoors, the commitment to the dog can encourage people to maintain their exercise program.
Exercise tones muscles, helps the body and metabolic system to function properly, and engages the mind for both the dog and owner. Just as with people dogs can become obese if they are not exercised; this is especially true if they are being given treats in compensation for lack of attention. Overweight and obese dogs are much more likely to develop obesity-related health problems such as diabetes, respiratory conditions, arthritis, and even behavioural problems.
“We’re actively encouraging Britain to pick up the lead and get fit whilst exercising with their dog. A gentle jog with a dog can easily be just as much about relaxation as it is fitness. In our modern day busy lives it’s important to remain active and alert. We also have a series of health and nutrition based articles on our blog for anyone that wants to know more about how they can help keep their pets fit and healthy and have fun at the same time” says Chris Newnham, Marketing Manager, Animal Friends Insurance.
A dog’s need for exercise varies depending on their age, size, breed and individual traits. Some have historically been bred for high-energy jobs such as Border Collies who were bred for herding, while others are more suited to being companions and consequently require less exercise.
When it comes to exercise dogs are similar to humans, moderation is the key, excessive activity can damage a dog’s body and it is essential not to overwork them. This applies to any active outing, even things such as playing catch or fetch can be a danger if not done properly. Throwing something too high can lead to a dog receiving an injury by landing awkwardly, or throwing something that is too heavy can injure their teeth or neck. Exercise is great for energetic young dogs, but sustained jogging or running is not recommended for young dogs (under 18 months) whose bones haven’t finished developing. Remember to choose activities that suit your dog’s individual personality and natural interests and have fun.