7 Signs Your Dog Isn’t Getting Enough Exercise (And How to Change That!)

Have you noticed your dog doing the zoomies more often lately? Starting to wonder if your four-legged pal needs a little bit more exercise?

It can be hard to pinpoint exactly how much exercise your dog needs—it varies based on size, breed, and age. But it’s important to make sure that your pup is getting plenty so they can live a long, happy, and healthy life! 

Fortunately, even though your dog can’t come out and tell you, “Hey! It’s time to up my exercise game,” they have plenty of other ways to let you know they need more! 

Read on to find out common signs your dog needs more exercise and ways to help them get it!

Destructive Behavior

All dogs get a little rowdy now and then, but if you’re coming home to more chewed shoes, torn-up furniture, or ruined carpet, it could be a sign your dog needs more exercise and stimulation! 

If your dog feels too cooped up, they’re likely to act out!

Weight Changes

Putting on a few extra pounds might not seem like a big deal to us humans, but for dogs, even a little extra weight can be a problem. If your furry friend is gaining weight, they very likely may need more exercise! 

Leash Pulling

Does your dog constantly pull and tug at the leash, even though they’ve already been taught leash manners? This could be another sign that your dog needs more exercise—they could be feeling the urge to move faster than you because they have excess energy they need to release! 

Trouble Resting

Most dogs need between 12-14 hours of sleep per day. If your dog is skipping naps or acting restless at night, it could be because they aren’t getting enough movement during the day. 

Barking and Bothering

Every dog seeks attention sometimes—they need (and deserve) plenty of it! But if the barking, begging for attention, and trying to get you to play seems excessive, they likely need some more stimulation. Consistent attention-seeking behavior means your dog needs something!   

Playing Rough

If you notice your pup is getting riled up and acting more rough-and-tumble than usual, it could be that they need a little bit more action! Dogs are driven to expend plenty of energy, and if they can’t release it through exercise, they have to get it out somehow! 

Stiff Muscles

Have you ever skipped a few workouts and noticed that it was harder to move around? A lack of exercise can actually cause muscles to stiffen and tighten. That applies to our furry friends as well! 

If your dog is having trouble moving, getting up and down, or climbing stairs, the answer might be more exercise! All dogs need regular movement to keep their muscles trained and active. 

So…How Do You Give Them More Exercise?

If any of these signs are ringing bells, your next question is probably, “How can I make sure my dog is getting enough exercise?

Adding an extra daily walk or two is a fun and easy way to expel some energy. Sometimes, all it takes is lengthening the walks you already go on! 

But if time or weather keep you from getting outside, there are plenty of other ways to engage your dog with more exercise at home! 

Stair Climbing

If your house has stairs, some gentle stair races are a great way to put that extra energy to good use! Climbing stairs works those muscles and provides healthy cardio. Just keep in mind that stairs are an intensive workout—so take it easy on your pup!

Treadmill Workouts

Many dogs love to run on treadmills! It’s a fun challenge for them and offers a full-body workout. There are plenty of canine-specific treadmills on the market, but most dogs can comfortably use a human treadmill as well (very large breeds might be too big for your treadmill!)

When introducing the treadmill, take things slow and introduce it carefully. Safety is the first priority, so make sure your dog feels comfortable before you up the ante! Start by getting your dog used to the treadmill itself with no power. Then, turn on the power and make sure the sound doesn’t cause stress. When you’re sure they’re ready, start slow and offer rewards! 

Create an Obstacle Course

Dogs need to practice their agility and coordination along with running! Setting up an obstacle course in your home or backyard can offer a fun bonding activity for the two of you and provide the stimulation they need! 

Create jumps with gates and furniture, set up cones or objects for your pet to maneuver around—you can even incorporate balls and other toys for added fun! You’ll probably need to show your dog the ropes a few times, so bust out the treats and be prepared to teach! 

Bubble Chase

Many dogs love chasing bubbles—they’re like miniature mystery balls floating through the air! Get a small bubble machine, go out in the backyard, and watch your dog thrive in the chase!    

Just be sure to use a bubble solution that won’t irritate your dog’s eyes or skin. 

The Finish Line

Your dog needs and deserves plenty of exercise to stay healthy, active, and happy. Watch for signs that your dog is feeling cooped up. If you notice any, it’s time to offer more stimulation!

Do you have any other exercise tips that you and your dog love? Let us know in the comments! 

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