Tips for Dog Exercise

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By Laura

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 its age, size, condition, and breed. Some dogs require less exercise than others.

Best Dog Exercise

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 it has a health problem or is over weight, you need to be careful. If your breed is prone to specific injuries, you may have to curtail certain types of exercise. If you have any doubts, always check with your vet.

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 overexert a young dog (6 months to a year). This is particularly applicable to large breeds like Newfoundlands, Great Danes, Labradors, and similar breeds as they grow rapidly. If you overexert them, you can actually damage their immature joints. While you may not see the harm immediately, it will become apparent later in life.

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 your pet 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 it to use – grass and earth over concrete.

House Training Dogs

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

7. Know your pet. Be aware of his or her limits. Check to see whether it’s 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 pet 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.