This post contains affiliate links, which means that if you click through and make a purchase I will earn a commission that helps to support this site. It does not affect the price you pay. You can read my full affiliate disclosure by clicking here.
In the U.S.—no, make that everywhere—obesity is not just a people problem. Sadly, obesity is affecting dogs as well. And, like obese kids, overweight pups will suffer from bad health as they become adults. Your young dog wants to be with you—he will do just about anything to please you—so get off your couch, turn off your tv, leave your smartphone, and go play with your pup in the great outdoors!
Keep reading to learn how exercise benefits your growing puppy. And, discover some FUNdamental exercises that will improve your growing pup’s health, attitude, and well-being. Bonus—these exercises are great for your health too!
- Helps to keep developing pups fit, healthy, agile and limber
- Builds trust and faithfulness in your pup towards you
- Builds confidence in timid pups
- Reduces or ends serious digestive and personality disorders such as constipation and excitable urination
- Minimizes or eliminates behavior problems such as jumping on people, digging, chewing things up, excessive barking or whining, garbage raiding, biting, etc.
- Burns pent up energy so that the growing dog sleeps more naturally at night
Make It Fun—It’s All About the Pup
Remember, this is energy-burning exercise for your puppy—it’s not about you. Whoa!!—That doesn’t mean your health shouldn’t benefit from it too. In fact, you can shed some poundage naturally while enjoying your time and bonding companionship with your pup. But, don’t selfishly make it about how far you can go or how many calories you can burn. It’s not about your cardio after all. Make it all about your pup’s happiness and his health. Make it about his life-long bonding with you.
* Take a controlled (short lead) daily walk or run with your pup but not always along the same boring old street or in the same dog park. Change it up for him so he can explore different smells, sights, and sounds. Be patient letting him stop frequently to smell, greet other dogs or people, and to leave his scent. Remember this is about him, not you.
* If your pup is overweight or just has a lot of pent up energy, then help him burn it off by getting him into a dog agility class—practically every town and city has these. Agility classes involve competitive course drills (aka trials) with other dogs which is a win-win for the dog. These drills are great exercise and they will boost the confidence of any pup.
* Everyone knows that dogs love to play fetch. Take him out for a run and be sure to bring along a prized fetch toy. Running and fetching is a favorite dog game that gives him a ton of joy. It also builds muscle and bone, plus it challenges his alertness and mental development. This is a simple do anywhere, anytime exercise that helps the pup develop while bonding with you. The big upside is that it costs only the price of a toy you probably would’ve bought anyway and the fun can be had anytime.
* Young growing dogs love to wrestle and play with kids and other dogs. This is natural—same with little kids—and it’s an excellent way for young dogs to burn energy while learning to socialize. Your local dog park is ideal for this dog-on-dog playtime (just don’t let it get rough and turn into a dogfight!). So, when you go to the park, don’t just walk your dog around the park on a tight leash. Let him run, play and get social with the other dogs.
Dogs like having some routine in their lives, especially in their home den. But they thrive on exercise and new challenges. For dogs, every day is a new day—every day is a new adventure. So, starting today, try out some fun ways and new places to play with and exercise your pup. It’s a great way to bond with your pup while giving him the physical and sensory calls-to-action that he needs and craves.