Here are two reasons why a vet might advise a dog owner to have their dog exercise more often.
The vet has noticed that some of the dog's muscles are showing signs of atrophy
If after examining a person's dog, a vet notices that some of the dog's muscles have atrophied and become quite weak, they might advise the owner to take the dog out for more frequent and longer walks, and might also recommend that they work with a canine physiotherapist if the issue is severe. Muscle atrophy is a relatively common issue amongst senior dogs, as even if they are fed a high-protein diet, their ageing bodies cannot always absorb and utilise protein as well as they did when they were younger. It can also be an issue in dogs who have had surgery with a long recovery period, that made it difficult for them to exercise for several weeks or months.
A vet who observes this issue in a dog might advise their owner to have their pet exercise more often because muscle atrophy can increase a dog's risk of injury. Without strong muscles to support their tendons, ligaments and joints, a dog could become more susceptible to strains and sprains. Additionally, muscle atrophy could reduce their mobility level, and thus make it harder for them to do everyday movements, such as getting up from a lying down position (or vice versa) and climbing up or down stairs. As such, by having their dog exercise more, a dog owner in this situation could help their pet to avoid physical injuries and make their daily life more comfortable.
The vet has observed some behavioural issues with the dog during its check-up appointments
If a vet observes some behavioural issues with a dog during its check-up appointments, they might advise the owner to have the dog exercise more often. This might include walking them more often as well as playing exercise games with them in between these walks (such as playing fetch in the garden, for example).
The reason for this is that if, for instance, a dog barks a lot during their check-up or seems to be incapable of sitting still and is extremely hyperactive, this might be because they have too much energy that they have not had the opportunity to expend through exercise. When a dog is given the chance to walk, run and play frequently throughout each day, these behaviours, which might make them hard for their owner to interact with, could dissipate. As such, by resolving this issue with exercise, a dog-owner could not only make their dog's life more pleasant but could also strengthen their bond with their pet. Furthermore, a dog with this issue that begins to exercise more often will also be less likely to cause damage to the owner's home as a result of being hyperactive (for example, they might stop gnawing on the furniture or clawing at the floors).
Contact a local vet to learn more.