Dogs are born to work for a living. They’ve worked alongside us for thousands of years, and most are bred for a particular purpose, like hunting, herding livestock or providing protection. Dogs’ wild relatives spend most of their waking hours scavenging and hunting for food, caring for offspring, defending territory and playing with each other. They lead busy, complex lives, interact socially and solve simple problems necessary for their survival.
The most common job for our companion dogs today, however, is Couch Potato! They no longer have to earn their keep and instead have to adjust to our sedentary lifestyles. They get their food for free in a bowl and are often confined, alone and inactive, for most of the day. This lack of purpose leaves dogs no outlet for their naturally active tendencies—physical and mental—and it contributes to the development of behavioural problems.
Another problem modern dogs face because they rarely work anymore is the lack of opportunity to exercise. Some pet parents make the mistake of assuming that, if a dog has access to a yard, he is getting exercise. But your dog doesn’t run laps by himself in your yard—or do much of anything besides waiting for you to come outside or let him back inside. It’s the interaction with you that counts!
Problems that result from dogs due to lack of exercise and play can be similar to that obtained from young children. If you don’t give them something constructive to do with their energy, they’ll find something to do on their own—and you may not like it! Some of the most common behavioural problems seen in dogs that don’t get enough exercise and play are:
- Destructive chewing, digging or scratching
- Investigative behaviours, like garbage raiding
- Hyperactivity, excitability and night-time activity
- Unruliness, knocking over furniture and jumping up on people
- Excessive predatory and social play
- Play biting and rough play
- Attention-getting behaviours like barking and whining
Benefits of exercise and play for your dogs are remarkable. Keeping your dog healthy, happy and out of trouble with daily exercise is a lot of fun and provides many benefits, including:
- Helps to reduce or eliminate the common behaviour problems listed above, such as digging, excessive barking, chewing and hyperactivity
- Helps to keep dogs healthy, agile and limber
- Helps to reduce digestive problems and constipation
- Helps timid or fearful dogs build confidence and trust
- Helps dogs feel sleepy, rather than restless, at bedtime or when you’re relaxing
- Helps to keep dogs’ weight under control.
Thus exercising your pet is equally important as it is for you. Exercising your pets would also lead to sweating and panting. Hence it is necessary to keep your pet fresh and clean. Bathe Me Dry, a herbal dog shampoo, is one such product that helps keep your pet hygienic and clean throughout his work out session.