Proper dog exercise is just as important as human exercise. Many people out there have made a New Year’s resolution to get back to the gym and get their beach bodies ready for the warm weather. As you buy your 6-month pass to your local gym, keep in mind that your dog isn’t fortunate enough to sign up as well. Dogs don’t have gyms, so how are they to keep up with THEIR exercise? For all you know your dog has also put exercise as its resolution and it is your job to check that off the list.
Proper dog exercise is essential to your canine’s well-being. Just like humans, dogs are individuals and each need something different. It is important for you to talk to your pet’s vet before creating a routine because factors like breed, age, and current health affect how your dog’s exercise routine should be shaped.
For example, dogs with short noses like bulldogs can only exercise for short periods because of the inefficiency of their snout, as well as overheating. Compare that to a Jack Russell Terrier which can exercise for hours on end, so it will be a better companion when going for a 3 mile run in comparison to a bulldog. Seeing as different dogs were bred for very specific tasks it is important to keep this in mind while trying to get your dog to exercise.
Age is also a key factor in what your dog’s exercise routine should entail. Puppies ranging from 6-months to 18-months require more exercise than your 8 year old golden retriever. This may seem obvious but don’t assume that since your dog could play fetch for hours and then go on a jog around the neighborhood a few years ago, he can still keep up now his 10th birthday has passed.
The last part to consider for the safety of dog exercise is your dog’s current health. Many dogs, like German Shepherds, are prone to hip dysplasia as they grow older. With a health problem like this it is important that strenuous activities like running on leash are to be avoided. A talk with the vet will help you figure out what the best activities are to keep your dog exercising and healthy, while not hurting preexisting injuries.
Part 2 coming soon!