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Today it is estimated that 40% of American dogs are overweight. Regular exercise improves blood flow to the heart, and oxygen to the lungs, builds strong muscles, increases joint mobility, increases energy levels and helps to control weight. Exercising your dog can enhance their quality of life, decrease risk of cancer, diabetes, arthritis, heart attack and strokes and extend their lifespan and the time that you can enjoy them being part of your family. Exercise also improves a dog’s mood, and decreases the risk of dog depression. It is especially important to keep aging pets agile and fit as they may not be inclined to exercise without your encouragement.
Preventing Behavior Problems
Exercise relieves boredom that can cause behavior problems such as destructiveness, separation anxiety, and barking. Exercise gives your dog a way to channel their energy in a positive way. Active dogs are typically happy, well-adjusted dogs. For good health and wellbeing of your dogs, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. A regular routine of exercise and playtime may be exactly what your dogs need to maintain its health for many years. Pet obesity is a serious problem as it puts pets at risk of diseases such as osteoarthritis, type 2 diabetes, heart disease, hypertension and cancer. Extra weight can also worsen existing conditions such as asthma, high blood pressure, hormone imbalances, and joint diseases. Put simply, carrying around the extra pounds will shorten the life of your pet. Veterinary Pet Insurance reported that last year they reimbursed policy holders over 14 million dollars for claims related to obesity - around 7 % of their total claims. . If the number of calories consumed by the pet each day is more than is used for normal body functions and during exercise then extra calories are stored as fat. Usually all that is needed for weight loss is reduced calorie intake and increased exercise.