PetFitness Blog – Pet Exercise, Workouts & Fitness Tips for Dogs

Why It’s Important for Your Dog to Get Rest

dog exercise

Every person needs a little rest and relaxation, right? The same goes for your dog. Humans and canines have more in common than you think — especially when it comes to recovery. Working out produces microtears in muscles and soft tissues. It’s actually post-workout that your dog’s body will repair and rebuild its muscles bigger, better, and stronger.

Inflammation and soreness can also occur after a workout. If your dog looks a little sore, give him/her roughly two to three days off before continuing your workout schedule.

Intense workouts can have a taxing or stressful effect on the nervous system. On recovery days, the fight or flight response (sympathetic nervous system) decreases, and the parasympathetic system, or calming system, takes over. Cortisol levels drop and physiologic stress lowers allowing the body to fully relax. Muscles are rebuilt, energy stores are replenished, and support structures are strengthened.

When your dog’s body does not have sufficient time to repair and rebuild, rather than an increase in power, strength, speed, and endurance, the opposite occurs. We, humans, understand the stimuli that we are exposed to on a daily basis; dogs are often left confused, in a helpless state. They don’t understand what is going on. It’s not solely about physical exercise; mental exercise is important, too.

Did you know that the average adult dog requires approximately 16 hours of rest/sleep every 24-hours? If they’re not getting this amount of sleep due to an over-stimulated lifestyle, then you may start to see some health issues arise down the road. Your dog must get some much-needed rest throughout the day.

Rest is especially important for dogs that are beginning a new exercise regime. For example, when you put your dog on our PetFitness plan, we always recommend a full day off between exercise days. This includes a full day off from mental stimuli, too.

Now, this doesn’t mean that your dog can’t do anything all day; some sort of physical or mental stimulation is important for your dog to cope with boredom and its associated health effects. If you take your dog for a bathroom break, make it quick. Avoid other dogs, cars, people, and other forms of stimulation. The quieter the better. Once your dog is done its business, engage your dog with simple activities like sniffing, chewing, or light indoor play. This is also a great way to build an emotional connection with your fur baby.

As you can see, just like with humans, sleep plays a critical role in your dog’s health and wellbeing, so make sure your furry friend gets enough z’s!

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