Sleep, sweet sleep
Have you ever wondered how much activity your dog should be doing and how much time should it spend resting? Let’s start with how much rest your dog should get: between 16 and 20 hours a day! It is through rest that the dog learns and internalises what it was trained for. It is no coincidence that when a dog fails to perform an exercise, it’s given time to metabolise what it has been taught and then, as if by magic, a few days later the imparted behaviour is learnt. So, we can say that sleep, or rest in general, after a workout, helps not only to regenerate muscle mass but also to metabolise training.
Mind you, this does not mean that the dog has to be cooped up all day because it has to rest for 16 hours! There must be a right balance between activity and rest; and when we speak of activity, we’re not referring to the typical “The dog has a big garden and can run as much as it wants”. This phrase could not be more wrong! The dog needs to go outside. For dogs, sniffing around is a bit like reading the newspaper: many different smells enrich its day and satisfies its olfactory need. Walking and running are not the only essential activities to maintain a good muscle mass, exercise in its various forms helps reducing injuries and, in the case of elderly dogs, slows down the loss of muscle mass.