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Tips for Exercising Your Dog

Exercise is a very important part of your commitment to maintaining a healthy dog. Your pet
needs regular exercise if he or she is to remain in top shape. How much and what type of
exercise you give your dog may depend upon the age of the dog, the size of the dog, the
condition of the dog and the breed. Some dogs do require less exercise than others do. While
Cavalier King Charles Spaniels and English Bulldogs may require less, Border Collies and
Welsh Terriers require more. An older animal does not need as much exercise as a young pup.

The physical condition of your dog is also important. If your dog has a health problem or is
over weight, you need to be careful. If the breed of your dog is prone to specific injuries, you
may have to curtail certain types of exercise. If you have  any doubts, always check with your

There are, however, certain things you should consider when embarking on an exercise
program with your pet. This applies whether you are jogging, taking a walk or playing a
strenuous game of discs.

1. Do not increase your exercise suddenly. Never go from a usual walk around the block to a
long hike through the woods. You need to build it up gradually. If not, your dog may be very
uncomfortable the next day.

2. Never over exercise a young dog (6 months to a year). This is particularly applicable to
large breeds. Dogs such as Newfoundlands, Great Danes, Labradors and similar breeds are
growing rapidly. If you over exercise them, you can actually damage their immature joints.
While you may not see the harm immediately, it will become apparent later.

3. Exercise and diet do go hand-in-hand. However, you need to manage the two carefully.
Never embark on a sudden exercise plan with an overweight dog. Increase the amount of
exercise slowly. If the dog is truly obese, check with your vet, first.

4. If you are going to exercise strenuously, warm up first. If you have a very eager dog, use
the leash to restrain too much activity too soon.

5. If you like to go jogging, biking or skate boarding with your pet, keep his or her paws in
mind. Try to select softer paths for your dog to use - grass and earth over concrete.

6. Always pay attention to where your dog is at during a run or morning exercise.

7. Know your dog. Be aware of his or her limits. Check to see whether the dog is panting
excessively, lagging behind, or exhibiting signs of distress or tiredness. Some dogs will
continue, in spite of the strain it is causing their body. If there are obvious physical problems,
take the dog to the vet.

8. Never exercise your dog just before a meal.

9. Abstain from exercising your pet until about 2 hours after a meal.

10. Never, ever exercise your pet at the hottest point of the day. Wait until it is cooler. This
may mean early morning or later in the evening. Heat stroke is nothing to laugh at.

11. Be a responsible owner. Not only do you need to take poop bags, you must bring with
you water.

Article written by Kelly Cheney of
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