Updated: Aug 12, 2020
Humans and animals alike need a routine of exercise for a healthy happy life. The benefits are just as similar, weight control, it also strengthens muscles and bones, and even enhances your dogs mood, yes that's right, just like us, routine exercise elevates their mood to a more positive and rested state of being.
However each dog has their own activity levels that are appropriate for the size, age and breed, that is why research must be done to ensure you as their caretaker can accommodate their needs.
Shar Pei's for example can be quite happy to lounge about the place, and so a good disciplined routine such as a walk in the morning and evening will get them moving and leave plenty of time for relaxing throughout the day.
Others love a good walk and some take part in agility sessions, so it really is a balance of knowing your breed, and getting to know your own pups personality and energy levels.
One to One play time is important for your bonding, establishing boundaries and expectations; when to release an object, how much mouthing is too much and its just plain fun, and you should be the main source of fun for your dog.
A dog that lacks exercise and stimulation from one to one play time, may display destructive behaviours such as tearing at furniture, excessive barking or destroying toys. Sometimes, as we have found out, increasing activity just a small portion has a wonderful effect on a dog with anxiety.
We personally choose to lightly exercise our dogs, due to excessive exercise possibly leading to stressing the body and triggering a condition unique to Shar Pei known as Familial Shar Pei Fever (FSF) which can be indicated by limping, swollen hocks, lethargy and high temperature.
I would be amiss if I didn't mention that most puppies, especially Shar Pei's, should be exercised lightly. This means very short walks, and where possible they should be restricted from jumping up and down from furniture. Puppies just like toddlers need time for bones to solidify and strengthen otherwise malformation can occur, or worse, mini fractures throughout the bones, which happened to a pup of a friend of mine. This was linked to over activity and incorrect nourishment.
Special attention should be given to your Shar Pei puppy's diet, as this breed
grow very fast and puppy food provides too much nutrients to this fast growing breed which can be linked to Carpal Laxity, where the bones develop the wrong way. Therefore it is important to seek advice as to the best nutritional option, many experienced with the breed recommend feeding an adult grain free food or Raw diet, as this helps regulate the growth of a puppy without over supplying vitamins and minerals.
For more information on nutrition please see our latest article.