Running is Crucial for your Dog’s Health

No matter how big, small, or agile your dog is, providing opportunities to run is crucial to their health and happiness.

There are many different ways your dog can run. They can run along next to you on a jog or a treadmill, but we're not talking about that kind of run!

The kind of run that provides maximum benefit is the kind where your dog's eyes light up with excitement, their tails wag with joy, and they are free to move as they wish.

That kind of run only happens during play. Your dog could be playing with a human or another dog, but the zoomies and running associated with play have maximum benefits for your dog's life.


Dogs need exercise to tackle obesity. Being overweight affects dogs negatively, just like people. It can shorten their life and lead to other health problems. To ensure your dog has a healthy weight, consult your vet first.

Check out this website for a great visual and more information on a healthy weight for your dog.


Many dogs that struggle with anxiety or aggression have a deep well of pent-up energy. Getting the opportunity to run freely with no restrictions can release stored energy that causes negative emotions.

Just like people, dogs receive endorphins after exercise. This is particularly true if the exercise is associated with joy and happiness.

Running during daycare helps fulfill their need for physical and mental stimulation, promoting better behavior both at the facility and at home.


To give your dog the correct type of running with joy, you need to tap into your dog's natural desires.

Some dogs want to be chased. You can play bow at your dog, encourage them to get playful, and chase your dog. When you see their butt tuck and run while looking back to see if you are following, you have done your job well. Be sure to balance with fun games of coming when called so your dog doesn't just always run from you.

Your dog may be more of a hunter. You can use a toy or flirt pole (like this one!) to tap into their desire to chase and grab.

Having your dog come to daycare where they can play running games with our staff or other dogs can provide this joyful running.

The best thing about joyful running is that your dog can be free to be themselves without the restrictions of our human rules. They can be chased or do the chasing. They can pretend to be the rabbit or the coyote chasing the rabbit. I am sure this is what dogs dream about!


At daycare, dogs don't just run joyfully. They develop shared experiences with other dogs. Sometimes, it is running with each other, but then it often becomes sniffing and exploring together. Joyful experiences strengthen social bonds. Daycare provides the perfect environment for them to engage in supervised zoomie sessions!

Even if your dog isn't the athletic type, all dogs want freedom of movement. While some dogs' running with joy will be short-lived, the benefits will still be seen. Even our bulldogs and Shih Tzus get zoomies in short bursts.

By allowing opportunities for this joyful running, you can avoid some repetitive injuries that come from restrictive running on a leash. Freedom of movement allows dogs to slow down themselves when needed, take sniff breaks, and start again when they want to.

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