Choosing the Right Exercise for Your Dog

Dogs need exercise as much as humans do. There are many health benefits that dogs can acquire if they have the right diet and exercise. It helps improve the cardiovascular condition of the dog, improves digestion, lowers stress and fatigue, and could make them more social and confident. Supporting your dog’s health should be a priority if you want to keep your dog in top shape, therefore it is best to talk with your veterinarian to understand which type of exercise (along with other factors that come with it) would best suit you and your dog.

Before getting started, make sure that your dog is in proper health and is not suffering from any physical complications. Slowly introducing your pet to exercise is necessary in order to avoid shocking their bodies and to gradually strengthen their muscles, their flexibility, as well as endurance. For puppies, shorts walks are what’s necessary. They can be walked for 5-10 minutes, and then you can slowly increase your mileage. If you have a smaller breed, make sure to wait until the dog’s first birthday before going over a mile’s run/walk. For medium to large breeds, make sure they are over 18 months to 2 years of age. Strenuous exercise can cause muscle and bone development to become damaged and injure the puppy.

For adult dogs, particularly overweight ones, it is important to start slow: walk for 10-15 minutes for 2-3 times every week. If you see that they have adjusted to the exercise regime and are ready for longer walks, then you can increase the length and speed of the exercise. Make sure you warm up your adult dog by gently massaging their feet before a walk or walking for about 5 minutes if you are running. Keep your dogs hydrated, and make sure to keep an eye on them to check if they need a rest or to cool down.

Benefits from dog exercises abound: sickly dogs suffering from health conditions such as diabetes, irritable bowel movements and even heart disease can improve their wellbeing. Likewise those who have social issues and hyperactivity can loosen up and relax when they are exposed to other stimulants, dogs, and environments. With regular exercise and a healthy diet, dogs can stay in good condition and eventually have a happier disposition.