Dogs need exercise. That much is true. But too much exercise will cause health problems and will eventually result in your dog’s death. Remember, dogs are not built to hold a lot of extra weight. That weight is not being placed on their joints, they are not made to carry the extra weight. A dog will fall victim to joint problems and ultimately will eventually turn to painful degenerative joint diseases like arthritis and hip dysplasia.
Excess weight will eventually put stress on the musculoskeletal system of your dog. Muscles, tendons, and ligaments. What’s happening is that your dog is becoming overweight, but he doesn’t realize it. His belly is filling up, so his abdominal muscles are getting bigger. They are not contracting, because they are filling up. This is what is causing his weight to pile up, but he is not complaining because his body doesn’t know that it has more stress to carry.
His joints are telling him that it’s time to start to work off that excess weight. Your dog will not admit to having weight problems, because he doesn’t want to take the steps necessary to cure them. What he’ll do is, he’ll start exercising more. He’ll start walking longer, and longer until one day he’ll decide to run! Your dog will probably begin looking for reasons to keep exercising because it feels good and he doesn’t want to stop.
As a dog owner you will often find yourself wishing your dog would just work off his body weight, but in a more gradual way. The problem is that if he doesn’t, the joint problems will have a natural progression that is much more painful. So, you will sometimes have to put your dog on a very strict exercise plan for a few weeks.
As your dog gets older, the joint problems are going to get more painful, but you’ll know that you’re working on the problem and your dog will feel better about himself. And you’ll feel better about yourself as well because your dog won’t have to suffer anymore from pain. That’s what we want – for our dog to feel better.
You should have seen the look of relief on his face when you went away with friends, and he could just lie on the couch and enjoy the game of fetch without all the running and jumping and tossing and getting chewed on. As he’d be lying on the couch with a pillow for a pillow, he’d realize that he could get some sleep. You’ll know that it worked, because he’d look up at you and just smile.
I know your dog won’t blame you for asking him to get off the couch. He won’t blame you for giving him a pillow and a hug after you finished your game. And I also know that you’ll understand why he wanted to stay on the couch. And I know that you’ll be able to understand his needs and you’ll realize that when you go away from your dog, he just wants a place to rest. So you’ll realize that your dog will appreciate the couch and a hug, because you’ll be returning to him his own space.
There are a few steps that I’d recommend making the transition process easier for your dog. I’d recommend that you follow these steps to help make the life of your dog a little less like a drag.
1. Have one designated area in your home that is for rest and relaxation.
2. Make sure that he has a comfortable place to sleep in your home.
3. Feed him his meals in his own place. This is a great way to ensure that he will feel secure and comfortable in his own area.
4. Don’t let him on your furniture. When he starts to climb on your furniture, put a baby gate in the doorway. This will keep him off your furniture. He’ll be happy and not feel trapped.
5. When he’s calm and relaxed, let him sleep on your bed. After some time, you can go back to letting him sleep on your couch.
And, what I’ve just explained to you is that you should let him go on your couch. And I’d also advise that you put up baby gates in the doorway of the couch. You might want to put some calming music on or your dog might be willing to rest in a quiet environment, but don’t make him stay there too long.
Your dog is a dog. He’ll need to have his own area. This isn’t to say that you should isolate him. I’d prefer that you give him plenty of time to be around his own things. So he may be comfortable, but you must make sure he won’t feel trapped or restricted. And I think that this would be a great thing, if you can do this consistently, he’ll learn that he will be happy wherever he wants to be.
If you follow the steps above I think you’ll be surprised. And I know you’ll realize that if you go out, you need to bring your dog. And I’ll be sure to tell you when you should let your dog out. But when I am sure that you’re following my tips, I guarantee you will have good long-lasting results that would help you achieve that perfect pet, or dog.