Exercising Your Shiba Inu
Creating a happy and healthy Shiba in home and for their health.
Exercising your Shiba Inu is an important part of responsibly caring for your dog. As an active and mischievous breed, it is vital for Shiba owners to understand the need of addressing mental and physical stimulation. Shiba Inus thrive on activity, enjoying the adventure, newness and challenges it brings. By establishing a daily routine that includes exercising your Shiba Inu, you and your dog can enjoy each other’s company and both benefit from a healthy mind and body.
Shibas are busy dogs, so providing the proper amount of exercise, e.g., daily walks and games, will satisfy the dog’s emotional and physical needs. If not allowed to stimulate the mind, negative behaviors such as digging, chewing and constant barking will ensue. A lack of physical exercise will also cause a buildup of energy which the dog will need to release. Therefore, not exercising your Shiba Inu will instigate inappropriate behavior such as destruction of personal property.
Multiple daily walks are a good way to provide exploration and physical exertion that will ultimately please, comfort and relax a dog. This in turn allows a calm and peaceful animal. Another means of exercising your Shiba Inu is participating in agility competitions. Agility games focus on tasks and reaching a goal while working and satisfying both the dog’s mental and physical needs. Shibas typically do very well in agility and enjoy themselves.
In addition, exercising your Shiba Inu will promote a strong and fit physique that will help to improve physical health by addressing bone and joint issues, proper weight and cardiovascular function. Prone to luxating patellas and hip and elbow dysplasia, structured exercise can benefit the strength and stability of the joints and muscles. This results in healthier function and lessens the risk of injury. Proper weight will also ease stress on the joints, preventing unnecessary breakdown or trauma. On the opposite side of the spectrum, if, for example, the patella is dislocated, appropriate exercise guided by a veterinarian’s instruction can assist in correct healing so that you can once again begin exercising your Shiba Inu safely.
By encouraging playtime with interactive toys that require using their high level of intelligence and engaging your Shiba in energetic and thought provoking games, such as fetch or hide and seek, you will stimulate calculated thinking. These activities will fulfill the need to work the brain while additionally improving physical health as they chase the ball or actively look around the yard or home for the hidden “prize.”
As a Shiba owner, feel good in knowing that activity for your pet is rewarding on multiple levels. Feeding the emotional and physical requirements of your dog will only enhance the relationship with your Shiba Inu. You will watch your Shiba thrive and noticeably appreciate your efforts. As a bonus, you will receive a boost in your own physical and mental health from exercising your Shiba Inu, making your efforts a win-win situation.