Get More Exercise for Your Dog
It’s the time of year when many of us resolve to be healthier, whether that means eating better, moving more, or maybe trying to lose weight. But what about our pets? A little extra movement might be all they need to keep healthy and happy throughout the year as well! Here are some exercises and tips on how to get your dog moving more.
Why is exercise so important?
Exercise is an important part of your dog’s health. It strengthens bones and muscles, making it less likely that they will break or tear during activity. It also keeps his weight down and reduces his risk of heart disease and diabetes. And just like people, dogs feel better after exercise. They are more likely to be calm throughout their day if they get a chance to run around for at least 30 minutes. Dog’s love to play and be active—it is up to you to make sure he is healthy enough for all that running and jumping!
What kind of exercise should my dog have?
It depends on your dog’s breed and age. Dogs of all ages can benefit from daily exercise, but certain activities are better suited to certain breeds. It’s important to understand that not all exercises are created equal. Running, for example, is often harmful for dogs—their lungs and hearts aren’t designed to take in large amounts of oxygen in quick bursts. Instead, opt for activities like hiking or swimming that use different muscles but can offer a similar cardiovascular workout. Whatever you choose, remember: Be sure your dog gets plenty of rest between workouts to ensure they don’t over-exert themselves during training sessions and possibly injure themselves.
Examples of exercises
Start by walking your dog around your neighborhood a few times a day. As they become more comfortable with it, increase the number of walks per day or try adding some stairs to your walk. If you live in an area that allows it, find out if your local dog park has classes for dogs. That’s a great way to socialize your pup with other dogs and owners while getting some exercise in as well! You can have a special ball or frisbee that only comes out when you play fetch with your dog, which may make them play longer than with a toy that is always out with them. Make sure to follow their lead when exercising, you don’t want to push them past their limits.
If you do want to try anything more complicated, make sure to talk with your veterinarian first. If you’re in a colder climate, be careful how much exercise your dog gets in extreme cold or snow as it can be dangerous for them.