Pet owners are not the only ones who benefit from regular exercise. Dogs benefit from regular activity as much as their owners do, in more ways than one. Regular activity helps your pet maintain her weight, retain her overall good health and even boosts her mood. Plus, spending time together being active can be fun for both of you. Here are some “Fido fitness tips” to help keep your dog in great shape.
Start slowly and easily
You wouldn’t begin an exercise routine by running a marathon if you’ve never even walked around the block, so don’t expect your dog to go from lap dog to mountain trekker. Start out taking slow, gentle walks to get your pet accustomed to the new activity. Avoid walking just after or before your pet has eaten to avoid tummy troubles for your pet, and be sure to bring water for your dog to drink.
Make exercise fun
Don’t just turn your dog loose in the backyard every day; where’s the fun in that? Instead, try taking walks around your neighbourhood or visit local dog-friendly parks. If you have to stay close to home, make the walk interesting by varying the pace and direction, challenging your dog to think and work to follow you during the walk. It’s the perfect time to practice good leadership, which will keep your dog feeling safe and more interested in you than the many distractions outside.
Watch your dog for signs of distress
Make sure you monitor your dog when exercising. If he seems too tired, is breathing too heavily, or appears to be otherwise uncomfortable, cut the session short. Make sure to avoid walking your pet during the hottest hours of the day, and keep an eye on the pads of his feet, which can become blistered on hot pavement.
Remember to take a bag to collect any waste your dog leaves behind, and keep your dog out of places that he shouldn’t be during your walks.
Enjoy being active with your dog, and you could prolong his life, giving your friend more time with you in the long run.