Get in Shape with Your Dog

Get in Shape with Your Dog

Exercise is important for dogs and humans alike. In this series, we will discuss how to get in shape with your pet.

Lifestyle & pets

Here, tips for getting into shape with your dog are discussed.

Types of Exercise to Enjoy Together
All dogs require a minimum of 60 minutes of exercise per day. However, each dog is an individual so it is important to determine which type of exercise is best for your both. Hiking, swimming, running, cycling, carting, and pulling (i.e. dog pulling a human on a scooter / skateboard / rollerblades / etc.) are all wonderful forms of activity.

How to Get Started
Before you start an exercise program your dog should be evaluated by a veterinarian to determine whether vigorous activity is safe for your pet. Your veterinarian will also be able to provide advice as to how much activity your dog can safely handle, as well as any breed-specific considerations that should be made.

What to Expect
Have patience with your dog when he or she would prefer to stop and smell the roses instead of continuing with the workout. After all, dogs don’t have a concept of exercise - or burning calories. Some breeds will view activity with you as their “job” while others will simply enjoy an opportunity to spend time outdoors.

You should gradually build your dog’s endurance no matter which form of exercise you choose. Start small, and slowly increase the amount of time your dog spends working out with you.

If you and your dog will be exercising on pavement, it is important to remember that your dog’s paw pads will require time to adjust and form strong calluses. Switch between grass or trail and concrete / asphalt until your dog’s feet have fully adjusted.

Be cautious in the heat! Dogs do not efficiently cool themselves and can overheat quickly. Exercise in the morning or in the evening, avoiding the afternoon sun.

Which Breeds are Best for Active Lifestyles?
Certain breeds are better for exercising with their owners than others. In general, dogs from working and sporting groups such as German Shorthaired Pointers, German Shepherds, Siberian Huskies, and Australian Shepherds will excel at exercise. Lap dogs or those with short noses (i.e. Brachycephalic) will not make good companions for vigorous exercise. These breeds include Bulldogs, Cavalier King Charles Spaniels, and Pekingese.

 

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At the same time don't forget to read our interesting article about How Much Exercise Does my Dog Need?

 

Please note: all dogs should be treated as individuals. The Actijoy blog is for educational and entertainment purposes only. In case of emergency, always seek qualified healthcare from a local veterinarian or emergency facility. Actijoy blogs are not designed to treat, diagnose, or prescribe medication for your pet.

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