Greyhound Adoption: Benefits of exercising with your dog

Exercising with your Greyhound Dog

Greyhound Adoption: Exercising with your retired racer

Retired Greyhounds: 6 Benefits of Exercising with your Dog

Exercising with your greyhound has countless benefits, for both, you the pet parent, and your dog. From going out for a walk to training for a 5k, to hiking and camping, these are all great ways to be active and enjoy some good times in the company of your greyhound.
Here are just a few of the benefits of exercising and staying active with your best fluffy friend.

1. Anxiety reduction

Exercise and just being active is tons of fun for your dog, it also channels your greyhound’s energy positively and productively. A tired and happy greyhound has significantly less anxiety and is much more calm after a period of brisk activity. This leads to a reduction of less desirable and destructive behaviors such as chewing, barking and pacing. This is specially true for very active dogs, as well as, young dogs and puppies.
Retired greyhounds also tend to be more anxious as they adjust from the busy life at the track to the calm of your (retirement) home. Sharing these activities with your dog also teaches discipline and routines (which retired greyhounds love). Your dog will learn to happily anticipate the activity and will associate the exercise with positive energy release.

2. The health benefit…for the pet parent!

Cardiovascular health not only improves by exercising, but also by the simple fact of owning a dog. Studies have proven that just owning a dog not only reduces anxiety, but can be a source of physical contact and decreases feeling of loneliness and depression. Imagine the benefits if, in addition to that, you also exercise together!
An additional benefit is your greyhound will learn the times and schedules of your exercise routine and will be your motivation if you start slacking. Your dog will let you know when it’s that time to get active and will always be excited about it. Emulate your dog’s excitement and you’ll be motivated to get out and exercise forever.

3. Bonding

Spending “active” time together will strengthen the bond between you and your greyhound. It also builds trust (which is a must with a newly adopted greyhound) and sets the stage for you, the pet parent, to be the pack leader. Pack leader + trust + strong bond is the equation for a happy and successful life for both, you and your dog.

4. Socialization

One of the main benefits, especially for newly retired greyhounds that find themselves in new and unchartered environments is the socialization aspect. As you exercise together, your hound will learn invaluable social skills when dealing with new people, other pets and different places. With time, the new environment won’t be so unfamiliar and scary. Your greyhound will learn that there are dogs in many sizes and shapes and that most of them are friendly, as well as most of their pet parents. This is also helpful since Greyhounds usually draw a crowd. You don’t want to find yourself putting your dog in an unpredictable situation when a person or dog comes over to check him out.

5. Safety

The safety benefit for the pet parent works very well at home, but specially while outdoors. The size of the greyhound is very intimidating and will keep “no so good” people away from you in those situations where find yourself running or hiking in an unknown or secluded area. Most “non-dog” people will steer clear of you and your hound (see my post about the 7 reasons to adopt a retired racing greyhound) as soon as they see you coming.

6. Fun

And hey, it’s FUN, just tons of fun to spend time with your greyhound while enjoying the beautiful outdoors, exploring new places and meeting new people and their dogs. It’s fun for your greyhound too…Fisher told me so!
It’s worth mentioning that precautions should be taken while exercising with your dog. Start slowly and then gradually work up the intensity and length of your outings and workouts, also pay attention to hydration in order to prevent dehydration and heat stroke. Make the activity safe and comfortable for your dog as well since they can’t readily voice how they feel.
Make sure to also read this post about tips for running with your greyhound.
Now, go ahead and shut down your computer, get your leash, change into the right clothes and get out there with your dog! (well, first sign up for our newsletter (on the left right side bar) so I can send you all kinds of Greyhound related articles, tips, quizzes and cool stuff that are sure to make you a great Greyhound parent).
Cheers,
Edo (the dog’s human) and Fisher (the greyhound)

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