15 Amazing Benefits Of Exercise For Dogs

Dogs can’t stay without exercise, and a lack of it is detrimental for them in many ways.

As a pet parent, understand that you have signed an imaginary exercise contract the day you bring a puppy home, regardless of its energy level.

Why, though? Why is exercise important for dogs? The answer lies in its benefits.

Exercise has many benefits for dogs, both on the physical and psychological levels. It is a need that’s just as valuable as feeding and shelter. Some benefits of dog exercise include weight maintenance, good behaviors, and general happiness. 

Let’s walk-through the numerous importance of exercise for dogs in detail.

The Benefits of Exercise For Dogs

Promotes good health

Cute Brown and White Border Collie Dog
Credit: Magda Ehlers / Pexels

The first major benefit of exercise is its promotion of good health. Exercise makes a dog less likely to fall ill.

It reduces blood pressure, helps prevent hip dysplasia, and can reduce the pain of arthritis. Dogs who exercise regularly may even live longer.

Weight management

Many dog breeds can fall victim to obesity, which is currently the most common preventable disease in dogs.[1]

Weight management is crucial for a dog’s well-being, especially if it is prone to being overweight.

Exercise and a good diet help the dog maintain an ideal weight. Exercise can also help a dog that’s overweight shed weight.

Mental health

Is your dog prone to anxiety? Exercise can help ease that.

It receives endorphins that keep it inallow itd also allow them to meet other dogs, thereby reducing the fear of uncertainty.

An anxious dog might react aggressively, so reducing the anxiety via exercise can prevent aggressive tendencies. 

Keeps joints active

Exercise makes joint muscles stronger, which protects the joints. A dog that exercises regularly will also keep its joints lubricated, reducing the chances of pain.

This also benefits older dogs. These canines are prone to arthritis and need exercise to help with the pain.[2]

Keeps a dog fit

Cute Brittany Spaniel Dog Standing on Road

Exercise ensures that a dog stays fit, and fitness has enormous benefits. A fit dog will be more active, healthy, and a joy to be around.

Even dog breeds that are not energetic can gain from being fit if only so they won’t be overly lethargic. 

Can prevent behavioral issues 

Picture a dog that lacks exercise, especially a highly energetic one.

It will be restless, bored, and more likely to keep itself busy in destructive ways like chewing on objects, digging, barking at passersby, or even attempting to chase anything.

By contrast, a dog that’s well exercised will be tired in a good way. 

Makes a dog happy 

Exercise is tied to a dog’s happiness. Dogs love to play, and when well done, exercise can be fun.

The endorphin released during exercise makes a dog feel positive, which is a good indicator of happiness. This is tied to the dog’s overall mental health.

Encourages a healthy digestive system

By burning off unnecessary fat, exercise helps a dog’s digestive system stay healthy.

Exercise also encourages blood flow in the muscles of the digestive system, which helps it digest food.

Also, when outdoors your dog gets the opportunity to use the bathroom, reducing the risk of a weak bladder. 

Good for the pet parent’s health

Couple with Dog Running Outdoors

Exercising your pet dog isn’t just good for it, it is good for you too.

Studies have shown that pet parents are more likely to have consistent exercise than people who don’t own pets. This makes you fit, healthier, and happier.[3]

Fosters a human/dog bond

Humans and dogs have had a strong friendship for years, right from when dogs got domesticated a long time ago.

Many activities can improve the bond between you and your dog, exercise being one the highest. 

Exercise is a fun activity (remember the endorphin?), often filled with laughter and an enthusiastic atmosphere.

This would help you two bond further. This would work best if the activities are not boring. 

Builds a dog’s confidence

There’s a direct link between regular exercise and a dog’s self-confidence. This is more so if the dog tends to be timid.

There are specific exercises that can shape a dog’s confidence, some of which are shaping games, finding the treat, tug of war, and fetch. 

Challenges the dog’s intellect

Exercise goes beyond the physical to the mental. Just as it reduces stress and anxiety, exercise also challenges a dog.

Activities like hide and seek, puzzles, chew toys, and sudoku work on the dog’s intelligence.

Without this challenge, many dogs will get bored and destructive. 

Improves the quality of sleep

In both humans and dogs, exercise helps a dog sleep better. Exercise gives the dog an outlet to burn off energy, making the dog tired and ready to rest.

A fit dog might also feel as light as humans, further improving sleep. Also, because exercise prevents obesity, sleep apnea (caused by obesity) is unlikely. 

Improves endurance

Dog Agility Training

Besides working on the muscles, exercise works on the cardiovascular system too, which leads to better endurance.

Walking, running, and swimming are some of these activities. 

Excellent form of socialization 

Dogs need to go outdoors to meet people and other dogs. They should also get to new places and experience new sights.

All these fall under socialization, and exercise is a good channel for socialization to occur. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Is it good for dogs to exercise?

Exercise is of tremendous benefit to dogs, and as such, it is good for them.

Exercise boosts mental health, works on the joints, builds muscles, improves the cardiovascular system, and builds the bond between you and the pet dog. 

Is it bad for dogs to exercise?

For all the advantages exercise brings to dogs, it has some disadvantages as well. Without restraint, exercise can overexert a dog.

You should also ensure a dog’s safety while outdoors so it won’t get injured. The pros outweigh the cons, however.

Is daily exercise good for dogs?

Daily exercise is the best recommendation for any dog. How exactly this works depends on both you and the dog in question. The size, age, and breed matter, as well as your schedule. 

How long do dogs exercise?

Some dogs are more energetic than others, and so they need a higher amount of exercise. This can be between 1 and 2 hours.

Low energetic dogs are content with up to 30 minutes of exercise. Age and size also influence what to eat. 

Do dogs feel good after exercise?

Exercise has been known to produce good feelings in dogs just as it does in humans. It boosts happiness and improves mental health.

Final Thoughts  

There are a lot more benefits of exercise for a dog, and this list is not exhaustive.

That said, there is enough here for you to understand the reasons why your dog would often give cues that it wants to go outside.

As you meet other needs of your pooch, ensure that you meet its exercise needs too.

You can also explore the easy ways to exercise your dog indoors, the best dog exercise equipment to improve your dog’s physical and mental well-being, and the best dog treadmills to keep your canines fit when you can’t go outdoors.

Authored By

Robert Miller

Robert Miller is a dog behaviorist and professional dog trainer. With more than eight years of hands-on experience in the field, Robert relishes sharing his vast knowledge to help prospective pet parents choose the right dog breeds that suit their lifestyle and provide dog owners with the information they need to ensure they raise a well-behaved canine companion. ...