Can lack of exercise cause stress in dogs? Expert Advice

How Does Physical Exercise Improve Dogs’ Mood?

In humans, exercise releases endorphins in the brain, which reduce stress levels and boost a good mood. Physical activity can therefore help relieve symptoms of anxiety and depressed moods as well as improve self-esteem. The same is actually true for dogs as well. Physical exercise can help improve a dog’s mood. Plus, dogs are generally social animals and enjoy activities done with their owners.

How Does Socialization Help Reduce Fearfulness?

Dogs that aren’t well socialized may have greater fears of unknown situations and people or other dogs. Properly socializing dogs can help to introduce them to new situations, people, and other dogs and give them the skills they need to face new situations. Physical activity may help with socialization as well when done outside. Taking a dog for a walk may introduce the dog to new situations and surroundings. Taking a dog to a dog park could encourage socialization with other dogs and people.

Many dogs will begin barking when they are bored, especially if you aren’t home. Dogs only have so many ways to communicate their feelings with us and constant barking is a great way to get our attention. Often, all they want to tell us is that they want to go outside and play! Bottled up energy almost always comes out in the form of vocalization.

Many owners note that their dogs never sleep through the night or constantly keep everyone awake as they wander around the house. Any dog that doesn’t get enough exercise is likely to be restless and if they aren’t given the opportunity to burn their energy, they will get overly anxious and begin pacing. A lack of exercise is just as bad for your dogs mind as it is their body.

While most dogs will bother their owners from time to time, some dogs are overly obnoxious and are constantly bugging their owners. Whether they’re pushing their nose into you, dropping toys in your lap, whining and barking or just wandering around aimlessly, a dog that is actively seeking attention all day long is likely a dog that isn’t getting enough exercise.

Do you have a dog that just can’t play nice? While some owners enjoy wrestling with their dogs, a dog that can’t play without being overly active is often a sign of a dog that has extra energy to burn. If they have too much cooped up energy, they’ll likely have too little self control to play softly.

Probably the easiest sign that your dog isn’t getting enough exercise is their weight. Overweight dogs need more exercise (and probably less food intake), because maintaining a healthy weight is very important. Just like people, obesity in dogs causes a wide range of health problems.

10 Things Which Stress Out Dogs

A study at the University of Helsinki in Finland examined the behaviors of 14,000 dogs and found that a more active lifestyle can help to reduce fearfulness in dogs, resolving many behavioral problems that result.

Fearfulness in dogs and behavioral problems that can result are stressful for both the dogs and their owners. So how can physical exercise help to reduce fearfulness in dogs?