Is your dog anxious? A big barker? Jumping all over the place? He might be trying to tell you something. A lot of dogs don’t get enough exercise in their daily routine and they end up expending their energy in ways that look like behavior problems.
“All dogs regardless of size or breed need to be taken on daily walks, jogs, runs, bike rides, rollerblading, stair climbing, swimming or some means of getting the dog moving,” said Christopher Lu, Director of Operations at Doggie’s Wonderland in Coppell and Plano, Texas. “It is not just about their physical health, but mental as well.”
A lack of exercise allows the build-up of mental energy that is normally released in a walk and you get hyper-activity, neurotic and/or obsessive-compulsive behaviors. “Excitement in a dog is not a sign of happiness,” adds Lu. “That’s an incorrect human interpretation of behavior. Excitement means your dog is unstable and needs energy release.”
In addition to difficult behaviors, lack of exercise leads to obesity, arthritis, diabetes, hip dysplasia and other problems. “Just like humans, excess weight and no exercise can age a dog prematurely. Since they are so much smaller than us, just a little bit of excess weight can shorten a dog’s lifespan and make them slow down and develop problems much earlier than if they were a healthy weight,” said Lu.
Bigger breeds tend to need more than smaller dogs, but all dogs need exercise. “Active breeds need a minimum of 30 minutes of hard aerobic exercise daily, preferably 45-60 minutes,” notes Lu. “The best rule of thumb is that a tired dog is a good dog. If you pay attention, your dog will let you know how much he needs. He should be tired without being exhausted.”
It is tough for a lot of families to give their dogs the exercise they need on a daily basis. With work, school, and other activities, walking for 45 minutes to an hour with the dog can seem overwhelming. Hot weather in North Texas can make it hard as well. There are other alternatives. Besides working in the walk with your daily exercise, some owners teach their dogs how to walk on treadmills – great for rainy days especially – or they hire dog walkers or they take their dogs to a daycare facility like Doggie’s Wonderland where they can work out some of that excess energy.
“With doggie daycare, both his mind and body are exercised and your dog should come home worn out and happy,” said Lu.
Doggie’s Wonderland is a cheerful daily dog daycare and boarding facility with locations in Plano and Coppell, Texas. Unlike most dog daycare, Doggie’s Wonderland follows a “kennel free” philosophy. Unless it is bedtime or dinnertime, all dogs have open access to its indoor facility and outdoor playground.
Doggie’s Wonderland – Plano
505 Alma Drive Plano, TX 75075 (MAP)
Tel: (972) 881-1905
We are located on the southwest corner of Alma & Plano Parkway. Across the street from Collin Creek Mall and just one block away from Central Expressway (Highway 75) or George Bush Turnpike (Highway 190).
Doggie’s Wonderland – Coppell
120 E. Bethel School Road Coppell, TX 75019 (MAP)
Tel: (972) 745-9100
We are located on the northeast corner of Denton Tap Road & Bethel School (across the street from the post office) and only 4 miles away from DFW International Airport.