Workout 101: A Guide for Dogs

We all know that exercise is an important part of our overall health plan. Did you also know that it is just as important for your dog? It’s TRUE! Puppies, adult and even senior dogs need a regular daily workout to maintain their overall health.

Why Exercise Your Dog?  Exercise tones a dog’s muscles, helps their body and metabolic system function properly and engages their mind. Animals that lack physical and mental stimulation often expel their energy via destructive behaviors.

When to Exercise Your Dog. Daily exercise is optimal! If the weather is dangerous — icy ground, excessively windy or high heat index – plan to do an indoor workout unless you and your dog are used to these conditions. We don’t want to risk Fido getting hypothermia or frostbite now, do we?

Expert Warning: Road salt can burn a dog’s feet so avoid extended contact. Try to keep your dog off of the treated sidewalk and on the grass if at all possible.

When the temperatures soar, plan to exercise first thing in the morning or as the sun begins to set in the evening. This is especially important if your dog has a thick coat of fur.

How to Exercise Your Dog. Depending on the age and fitness of your dog as well as your own lifestyle will determine what type of exercise is best for your pet. Heading out for a run or leisurely stroll around the neighborhood are the most common exercise methods. Visiting the park and playing fetch or frisbee are other great ways to get your dog active.

If the weather prevents you from getting outside, don’t despair! There are plenty of ways to exercise your dog indoors.  Head to the stairs! You and your dog can each get a great workout running up and down them. Playing fetch with a soft ball is another great way to burn energy when indoors.

Hydrate! Hydrate! Hydrate! When you’ve finished up your game of fetch or returned from your run, reward him with a bowl of water and a cool place, out of the sun, to cool down. Even in the colder weather, your dog still needs to be hydrated after exercising.

And Remember….  Exercise is one of the best ways to spend time with your pet! Dogs are wonderful athletes and most adapt to even the most strenuous of exercise programs. Visit your veterinarian before starting a new exercise program for a health check. Better to be safe than sorry!

What types of exercise do you and your dog like to do?