[Sponsored post] Active dogs are in a league of their own when it comes to responsible pet ownership. We’ve taken these dogs bred for herding, sledding, swimming, hunting and following horse coaches over long distances, and tried to get them to acclimatise to our indoor lifestyles. But active dog breeds are not to be ‘tamed’ to our modern ways. They will remind their owners of their energy levels by leaving a trail of destruction if their need for physical activity and mental stimulation are not met.
But it’s not all big holes in the garden, chewed-up shoes and remote controls, and mischief and mayhem. If you’re the owner of an active dog breed, these are the benefits available to you if give your active dog what he or she needs.
But first, what do you mean by ‘active’?
All dogs have different play and activity needs, but there are a few breeds that stand head and shoulders above the rest when it comes to the amount of energy they need to expend. Siberian huskies, for instance, were bred to run for hundreds of kilometres in the snow. This endurance breed needs a daily exercise regimen that includes 10km of running and/or two hours of high-intensity exercise.
Border collies are super intelligent, high-energy dogs that were been bred to herd animals – a full-day job that keeps their attention rapt and their legs constantly moving. When their brains and bodies aren’t engaged, they can become bored, destructive and even depressed. They need between one and three hours of high-intensity activity per day.
The other active breeds with high-energy demands include golden and Labrador retrievers, Dalmations (the original coach dog), Jack Russell terriers, any of the sheepdog, shepherd (including GSD) or collie breeds, Belgian Malinois, beagles, English springer spaniels, Irish setters, and even the feisty miniature pinscher. Also, don’t let the short legs of the Pembroke Welsh Corgi fool you – this too is an endurance breed that just loves to be active.
Active dog, fit owner
There are too many instances where a new dog owner has fallen for the cuteness of the floofy face and squishy butt without realising the dog has exceptional energy demands. When the dog’s boredom-busting destructive habits become too overwhelming and you simply have to walk the dog and outplay all that energy, it means you too get all the fitness benefits of exercising and being on your feet for an additional one or two hours a day.
An improved fitness level is not just good for the glutes and quads, but active time spent with an energetic dog breed has plenty of additional health benefits. Improved circulation optimises your body’s oxygen levels and keeps your heart healthy. You will also have a natural inclination to drink more water to rehydrate, which keeps your kidneys and digestive system healthy. And these benefits run both ways – for you and your dog!
Along with the fitness and health advantages of keeping up with your active dog, an increase in exercise also stimulates the release of endorphins – natural feel-good chemicals that will lift your mood to new heights. Endorphins also help to reduce feelings of pain and stress. And, when you associate this feeling of wellbeing and joy with being active with your dog, it can only be good for your bond and will ensure you maintain an active routine with your furry best friend!
An active dog is a Good Dog
When you do properly exercise your dog and help to expend his energy and meet his need for physical and mental stimulation, he is more likely to be calm and happy during his downtime. Proper daily exercise means he will need proper recovery time, so your dog is likely to enjoy deeper, more restful sleep. The same goes for you!
Long, happy life
A European study of 3,4 million people over a period of 12 years concluded that dog ownership equals a longer, healthier life. This is especially true of being an active dog parent, when you consider the findings that dog owners have a lower reactivity to stressful situations and a faster blood pressure recovery. The owners of active dog breeds were found to have a much lower risk of heart disease and premature death.
Keep your active dog breed healthy
While we may enjoy the benefits of a longer, healthier, happier life thanks to our doggy companions, it’s important to take proper care of active breeds, especially those who are more susceptible to arthritis and degenerative joint disease. The best way to keep your active dog breed healthy is to start with the right nutrition – a dog food that is tailored to the health needs of dogs who have high energy levels and need to be able to move well to meet their own activity needs. Hill’s Science Plan Healthy Mobility is a precisely balanced nutritional solution for agile dog breeds, which helps them to stay flexible and limber without hurting their muscles and joints.
Hill’s Science Plan Adult Healthy Mobility medium dry dog food contains high-quality protein to perfectly support your active dog’s lean muscle and vital organs, vitamins and antioxidants for healthy immunity, as well as glucosamine and chondroitin to protect your dog’s joints by reducing inflammation and stimulating healing. The omega-3 fatty acids from fish oil help to keep joints lubricated so your active dog can go on and on to his (and your) heart’s content.