When was the last time you took your dog for some exercise? Well, like in human, exercise come with a heap of both physical and mental health benefits for your dog. Besides, exercising boosts the dog’s social and behavioral aspects. It does not have to be so serious, a casual walk in the morning or a swim in the afternoon is among the forms of exercise that your dog will enjoy while reaping the great benefits.
There are various ways that you can exercise your pooch. Some may require you to hire a trainer if you so like and have the money, while others are just doable by yourself.
What to do?
Before embarking on any exercise
- Visit your veterinarian to ensure that your dog is in tip-top health to exercise. Here, your doctor will assess the fitness level and recommend appropriate exercise for your dog’s age and breed.
- The temperature should be not too hot as to cause the dog to overheat as they breathe through their pads.
- Start slow and then work your way up in terms of routine exercises like walking or running.
- Ensure that your dog hasn’t had a meal immediately before they exercise to prevent bloating.
During the exercise
- Be sure to keep your dog hydrated at regular intervals
- Be on the lookout for fatigue signs like panting and lagging behind. Stop if you need to.
After the exercise
- Don’t give your dog any meal or treat immediately after the exercise
- Give him water to hydrate and plenty of time to rest
Here are some forms of the exercises that your dog will enjoy
Take a morning, afternoon or evening walk with your dog. Like you, the pet will enjoy the relaxation of mind that comes with taking a casual walk around the neighborhood or along the beach. You may also decide to take a hike up the nearby hills, in the company of your dog. Besides, this will be a great opportunity for both of you to bond.
Do you love yoga? Then, don’t just do it alone. Let your best friend join you and enjoy too. Share your yoga mat with your hound. Lately, dogs are becoming more popular as yoga lovers. Let yours be among them. This will be a great way of bonding. However, you may need to get an instructor who will be comfortable with the pup as well.
If you want to know if your dog will enjoy swimming, introduce him to water, more water and check out for reactions. Take advantage of any private pool, public lake or beach that is dog-friendly. Water-based exercises are great for strengthening the dog’s joints. This is especially if your dog has, or is at risk of getting arthritis or any other joint-related complications. It is ideal to get a life saver jacket for your dog for easy floating and to minimize chances of drowning.
Running is a great way of exercising for your dog. Actually, many dogs do love running. This kind of exercise gives them an outdoor, free world feeling while they are still keeping their body, mind and heart fit. If you want to introduce your dog to running, start with a slow pace for a short time like 15 minutes a day. Then, gradually increase the pace and time for exercise per day. As far as running is concerned, dogs like taking the lead. So, allow your dog to run ahead of you, and then follow while keeping the pace. Be keen to check if the breathing becomes fast and heavy, this may be a sign that your pup is tired, and this may be a time to slow down. A tired dog may also start producing foamy saliva from the mouth. Such would time to slow down and take a break. You may also note when your dog does not want to run, or cannot retain the usual pace and time, as a sign of illness.
This is a perfect game on your backyard, which will also captivate friendship between you and your canine. This is a game of throw whereby your dog catches a disk. It’s a fun-filled game that encourages teamwork that your children can join in too.
This will enhance the teamwork skills of your dog. The dog is trained to run through obstacles as you provide direction. The dog has a stipulated time within which to conquer an obstacle. This is an activity that you can enroll your hound for competitions. You may, however, have to get your dog for training, in preparation for competitions.
Benefits of Exercising your Dog
Like in humans, exercise come with a basket of benefits for your dog. These include;
- Reduces digestive problems
- Improved cardiovascular health
- Reduced behavioral problems like excessive barking and digging
- Exercise helps in shedding excess weight and therefore preventing obesity
- During exercise, you get an opportunity to bond with your dog
- Exercise improves overall emotional well- being of your dog
- If you take him to play with his kind in the dog playground, it improves his socialization skills
Beware that different breeds require different exercise needs. Find out what works for your dog. Exercising your dog should not be an event, it should be a lifestyle. Do it often.