Tips for Exercising your Dog

The benefits of structured exercise for canines are numerous. According to Australian Vet Association Not only are well-exercised dogs healthier, with fewer diseases and a longer lifespan, but worn out pups are better behaved and have fewer bad habits than their non-exercised counterparts. For many dogs, one or two short walks a day are not enough to keep boredom, obesity, and bad habits at bay. Healthier pets will allow you to make less Pet Insurance Claims too. Before beginning a new exercise program with your dog, there are a few considerations to keep in mind, listed below.

Find a Properly Fitting Harness

While every dog should wear a collar for identification and quick control purposes, a good harness is essential for vigorous exercise. Even for well-trained dogs that do not pull on-leash, running, cycling, or hiking may cause unnecessary force to be placed on a dog’s neck. For certain breeds, especially greyhounds, whippets, and dachshunds, attaching a leash to a collar can even cause injury to their fragile necks and esophagi. Additionally, dogs are less likely to slip out of a harness. Besides evenly distributing the dog’s weight, a harness can provide the dog owner with more control, as well. I normally buy online or ask from your vet near to you.

Start Slowly

Whichever form of exercise you choose, start slowly. Just like humans, dogs can suffer from overuse injuries and muscle sprains or strains. Depending on your dog’s size and physical condition, start with 1k - 3k of running on soft surfaces and slowly increase the distance over time. Additionally, if planning to run or cycle on cement or asphalt, bear in mind that a dog’s sensitive paw pads must be properly callused in order to avoid sores. Gradually build up the amount of time spent on hard surfaces by beginning with 10 – 15 minute durations and adding 5 minutes every few days.

Seek an Activity you Both Enjoy

Each individual dog has his or her own personality and exercise requirements. Some breeds, such as Border Collies or Australian Shepherds, are high energy and require vigorous exercise. Other breeds, such as pugs, can only withstand short bursts of activity at a time. With your dog’s needs in mind, find an activity that you both will enjoy. If you have a high energy dog but do not enjoy running, consider cycling while your dog runs alongside you. If you prefer running but your dog would rather go for a leisurely stroll, consider heading to the woods for a long hike. There are many creative ways to exercise your dog, one that both of you are sure to enjoy. Rollerblading, skateboarding, carting, sledding, cycling, running, hiking, and dog scootering are only a handful of options available.

Provide Positive Reinforcement

Your dog will undoubtedly enjoy spending time outdoors with you and getting a chance to stretch his or her legs, but do not forget to positively reinforce your dog for good behavior. Never punish your dog while exercising for wanting to stop and take potty breaks or stop and smell the roses. Remember that dogs have no concept of “exercise” or “workout,” and simply enjoy time spent being a dog!

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