How much exercise a dog needs can depend on breed, age, size, and more. Some dogs are fine with a daily walk, but others need more strenuous activity. All dogs need regular exercise to keep them happy and healthy.
These are the top signs your dog isn’t getting enough exercise. Read on for details, plus suggestions for how to up your pup’s fitness game.
- Destructive behavior
- Rough play
- Weight gain
- Excess barking
- Sluggishness or depression
- Pulling at the leash
- Pestering or annoying behavior
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1. Destructive Behavior
Do you come home to chewed shoes or overturned trash cans? Your dog might need more exercise. Destructive behavior is one of the primary signs of a bored or anxious dog. And exercise is one of the best solutions!
2. Rough Play
Sure, some dogs are more rough-and-tumble than others. But if your dog is constantly engaging in rough play and seems to lack self-control, they may have an excess of pent-up energy. You can help by providing structured exercise opportunities.
3. Weight Gain
Dogs gain weight when they take in more energy than they can use; in other words, when they eat too much, and don’t exercise enough. Obesity is especially common in older dogs, who naturally slow down as they age. If your dog is packing on pounds, it may be time to boost their exercise routine.
Note: certain diseases and disorders can lead to rapid weight gain. Always consult your veterinarian if your dog’s weight suddenly changes, and before embarking on a weight loss plan.
Does your dog have trouble sleeping through the night? Do they pace around the room while you’re trying to get work done? Restlessness is a sign of energy to burn, so tire them out with exercise.
5. Excess Barking
Like restlessness and destructive behavior, barking can be a sign of anxiety or boredom. If your dog has a lot of pent-up energy, they may express it vocally.
6. Sluggishness or Depression
Exercise isn’t just about physical fitness. Like humans, dogs need movement to maintain mental and emotional health. If your dog doesn’t get enough exercise, they may become depressed.
Note: loss of interest can be a sign of illness or more serious conditions. Talk to your vet if you’re concerned about a sudden change in behavior.
7. Pulling at the Leash
Sure, some dogs just need to learn leash manners. But leash-pulling can be a sign of excess energy. Try wearing your dog out with a game of fetch or a dog park romp before going for a controlled walk.
8. Pestering or Annoying Behavior
Let’s be real: sometimes, our dogs are a pain in the you-know-what. But they don’t do it on purpose. Unwanted behavior is one of the most clear indicators that your dog needs more exercise. After all, a tired dog is a good dog!
How Make Sure Your Dog Gets Enough Exercise
Did you read the above list and realized your dog needs more physical activity? Don’t worry, we’re here to help!
The following articles will help you find the right activity for your dog:
- How Much Exercise Does a Dog Need?
- Dog Exercise Equipment: How it Works and When to Use It
- Field Guide for Working Dog Owners
- Awesome Indoor Dog Activities
- Yes, Even Your Dog Can Learn Agility Skills
Always consult your vet before beginning an exercise routine. And remember to have fun exercising with your dog! Physical activity isn’t only important for your dog’s health; it’s also a way for the two of you to bond.