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Movement Therapy

Are we giving our dogs the opportunity to move their bodies as often and as much as they need? An active lifestyle is a fundamental pillar of a happy & healthy dog's life, and being given the opportunity to display natural behaviour patterns is one of dogs' 5 basic needs as dictated by Animal Welfare. The benefits and necessity of exercise for our dogs goes far beyond a walk and a wee morning and night. Here's why;

Dogs are active and explorative creatures by nature who have gradually been confined to urban areas for less than 6 generations. We're now seeing shocking statistics at the heights of up to 70% of the UK's dogs being reported to be either overweight or obese. You can learn more about your dog's ideal weight here.

An active lifestyle not only lowers the risk of obesity, it also helps with a vast array of common internal and external issues and ailments; joint disease, heart disease, neurodegenerative disorders as well as maintaining a strong musculoskeletal system to name a few.

Extending our dog's lifespan is a top priority, and we as parents have the power to increase the precious years we get to spend on earth together. In studies revolving around the oldest dogs recorded on earth, the one consistent variable was rigorous daily exercise. Musculoskeletal atrophy (wastage) can be prevented by moving your dog daily, especially important in their midlife years when they can build endurance, excellent muscle mass and tone to carry them healthily into their geriatric years. Even dogs who are not overweight can develop arthritis and other debilitating conditions that affect bones, joints, muscles and internal organs. Activity puts the joints through their natural full range of motion, building muscle tone, strengthening ligaments and tendons, as well as engaging your dog's proprioception (mind and body synergy), leading to better balance, improved coordination and, as a result, less injury.

As well as the many physical benefits, there is a strong correspondence between exercise, behaviour and mental welfare in our dogs. Insufficient physical activity can foster hyperactivity, chewing, general rowdiness, jumping up, digging, mouthing, heightened reactivity, increased anxiety and destructive behaviours, in fact, 70% of reported behavioural issues in dogs are attributable to some form of anxiety. Crucially, there is an inverse relationship between exercise and anxiety; when exercise increases, anxiety decreases and vice versa. Behaviour and cognition will suffer without regular physical and or mental stimulation - exercise alters the brain chemistry, promoting brain cell growth and inducing an overall calmer state of being.

Exercise in a social setting strengthens the immune system and enables lymphatic detoxification; the lymph system is an important part of the immune system, keeping it clean and healthy is vital. Further to this, good health lies in the gut, and exercise and activity normalise and regulate the digestive system as well as manage blood sugar and reduce risk of insulin resistance and diabetes.

A healthy dog is an exercised dog. An exercised dog is a tired dog. A tired dog is a happy dog.

A happy dog is everything.


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