The Benefits of Athleticism in Dogs

Dogs are naturally a lively and busy species, keeping pet owners on their toes with their exercise needs. From taking long walks to sports participation, canines find pleasure in various activities. However, while playtime and athleticism in dogs are great ways to initiate fun, they are also an essential part of good health.

The Mind

Canines are intelligent beings, and as a result need to keep their minds sharp and stimulated. Allowing them to activate thought processes and problem solving is a wonderful way to improve mental health. A busy dog is a happy dog, and a happy dog is the first step toward good health.

A dog that remains inactive becomes a bored dog. A bored dog develops negative behaviors such as chewing, roaming, hyper-excitability, and territorial aggression. A dog that goes on walks or jogs is able to investigate seemingly limitless surroundings, learn training (e.g. leash walking, greeting others), all the while enjoying new discoveries. This feeds the mind and therefore eliminates the desire to search for something to do, such as chew or roam. It also influences socialization to prevent aggression. Playing Frisbee or “fetch and retrieve” requires the dog to focus on catching the object, gearing the mind toward calculations and detail. This athleticism in dogs does not only strengthen physically, but mentally, as well, and a strong mind is a calm, well-mannered, and obedient one.

The Body

It is common knowledge that any form of athleticism in dogs will increase muscle strength and keep obesity at bay. Yet the importance of these results may not be fully understood. The benefits far surpass the aesthetics of a fit and trim dog.

Finely tuned muscles are like finely tuned instruments. In order for a musical instrument to play quality music it must be properly tuned. If not, the music sounds off key and generally unpleasant. When muscles are not kept in their prime, they, too become weak and minimal in their job. Ranging from cardiac muscles to skeletal muscles, each one has an important role in making sure the body functions properly. From pumping the body’s blood to simply allowing the dog to stand up and sit down, their strength is established from good nutrition and exercise. Athleticism in dogs safely expedites the process of improving muscle quality.

In addition, strong, healthy muscles help support joints, lessening their wear and tear. In turn, this prevents injuries (e.g. torn ligaments) and arthritis (painful inflammation of the joint).

Athleticism in dogs also prevents obesity by burning calories and fat. An overweight animal suffers from excessive pressure on joints and improper function of the cardiovascular system. This increases the risk of arthritis, hip and joint injury, and heart problems that can shorten the dog’s life.

Exercise is essential

Next to nutrition, the best way to help a pet stay healthy is exercise. By increasing activity via games, walks, sports and more, dogs can quickly and easily benefit from the stamina required of them. So take those walks or throw the ball for your dog. Participate in agility, breed specific tasks or swimming. Whatever path you take, know that all types of athleticism in dogs will insure an improved and lengthened lifespan.

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