EXERCISE is the second Naturopathic Law of Health. Exercise is not optional. Animals were meant to move on a daily basis. It is so much more important for health than simply a way to expend energy! Movement is needed to grow and stay strong, to remove toxins from the body, exercise the mind, and balance emotions.
Can your suburban/urban dog get enough exercise? Yes, with your help! Our dogs used to have a 1/8 acre yard. It was great fun for them to chase each other over, under, and around obstacles to tone the different muscle groups. There is nothing quite like watching your dog run at full speed for the sheer fun of it though! Try to think of a large area nearby that is safe to let your dog’s run. School play grounds or tracks are good, with permission of course. At the very least, put some objects in your yard to enhance your dog’s daily pleasure – timber to leap over or walk on, and tunnels to run through. Think of a personal agility course. I guarantee your dog will be thrilled!
Along with this increased activity sore or strained muscles may develop. Upon moving to the country our dog Eóin spent the first two weeks furiously digging after ground-dwelling critters he thought must be exterminated. One day he came up with a very pronounced limp. My usually stoic boy was clearly in discomfort – restless, whining, and not able to find a comfortable position to rest. Using the homeopathic remedy Arnica Montana, topical application of Copaiba essential oil for inflammation (internal too since he licked his leg), and three days of rest albeit begrudgingly, he was as good as new.
Then it was my turn – an ankle strained while setting fence line on hilly, soft ground thanks again to those underground varmints. I couldn’t walk or put any weight on it by evening! Again, it was Arnica Montana to the rescue, both sublingual pellets and topical gel. By the following morning I could carefully hobble. With continued rest and modified activity for a couple of days my ankle was back to normal.
There is a saying that goes “A good dog is a tired dog”. It is also a healthier dog! Don’t let snow stop you- dogs love playing in the snow, plowing through it with their face! Fetch with a snowball is quite entertaining since it “disappears” when it hits the ground making the dog think and search for it. So, by all means get out and enjoy some exercise with your dogs!