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The Hyperactive Dog

hyperactive dog

Oh, the joys of a hyperactive dog. And by joy, we mean challenges. Have you ever met a dog that seems to have springs on his paws instead of toes? You can envision him now, jumping up and down tirelessly with never ending energy! These dogs usually have the label of hyperactive because they cannot stop moving! They develop undesirable behaviors like excessive barking, chewing and destructive habits. In extreme cases, they may even begin chewing at their own skin in an attempt to burn energy. It may seem like a never ending task to help these dogs, but it can be done!

The Tired Dog, The Good Dog

The age old saying, a tired dog is a good dog is not one to be argued with. A dog who has burned up his energy just wants to rest and relax.  When a dog is tired, he doesn’t want to get into trouble or cause problems.  For a hyperactive dog, however, becoming tired may be a difficult thing to accomplish! To figure out why your dog is hyper, first look at him with a fresh set of eyes!

What breed is your dog? Is your dog a working breed? This could be a Border Collie or even a German Shepherd Dog. If so, then you could find yourself with a bored dog. Dogs in general are smart. However, dogs bred to work or hunt are highly intelligent. They need a job to do! A job can be anything from learning tricks to running an agility course.  There are several activities and sports you can play with your dog. Mixed breeds, purebreds and purposely bred hybrids all need a job. Be sure the one you pick is something you both can enjoy!

Next, take a look at your dog’s schedule. Is he spending most of his time alone while you are at work? Does he get exercise beyond a simple one hour daily walk? For most dogs, one walk a day does not burn off their energy. Instead, hyperactive dogs need the ability to run or jog for a period of time to really give them the exercise their body craves.  Forcing an energetic dog to sit at home all day with nothing to do will surely put springs on his paws or entice him to become destructive to use up the energy he is stuck with.

Hyperactive Dog? Check the Food!

Just like with a human child, the foods your dog is eating could cause them to have more energy than he probably should! For the already hyperactive dog, diets including grains and sugars give your dog more energy.  The carbohydrates in grains, including wheat, rice, soy and corn all turn to sugars inside the body. It doesn’t matter if a human eats it or a dog, but these carbs will also turn to fat if it is not used up through exercise.  You can either increase your dog’s exercise regimen, or provide him a healthier diet.

a healthy diet is best for a dog with too much energy

Foods, including raw diets that are grain free and made up of almost all animal products will give your dog the healthy, balanced energy level he is naturally meant to have. This can help reduce his hyperactivity a great deal, while giving him the natural nutritional energy producers he is meant to ingest, like proteins and healthful fats.

Is the Energy Level Change Sudden?

If your pup used to be a well mannered pup you may want to take a visit to the vet. Occasionally, there are medical issues associated with sudden changes in behavior. This article by Jan Rasmusen on Dogs Naturally Magazine may be helpful to you.

Step It Up!

Unless your dog is of a special breed that requires limited exercise, like Pugs or Bulldogs, consider increasing your dog’s work outs!  A hyperactive dog enjoys plenty of exercise. If you are not able to provide more than a simple walk a day, consider hiring a professional dog walker. Or, hiring a dog jogger if one is in your area. These pet professionals can take your dog out for a run whenever you are at work or school. Doing so will drastically reduce his hyperactivity and unwanted behavioral problems.

For More Information

If you have questions about this topic or general questions about pet care, you can contact Kara Jenkins, Owner of TLC Pet Sitter. We are also available by email at info@tlcpetsitter.com. View more of our articles on pets here.