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Exercising Your Dog

Dogs need their exercise just like people do. Regular exercise helps your dogs maintain a healthy weight and strengthen their muscles. It also keeps them from getting into mischief around your home due to all of that pent up energy. Ask anyone with a well exercised dog and they will tell you their home is a more peaceful place.

But most people don’t know what it takes to provide their pets a good exercise routine. They have lots of questions and may not want to spend the time, or simple, never thought of asking their vet. If you’re one of those people, you’ve come to the right place. Here are some tips to help you make the most of exercising your dog safely.

Variety is Key

While walking your dog is one of the most common exercise methods, it’s not the only one you can use. In fact, it might not even be the best choice for some dogs that have a lot of energy to get rid of unless you’re prepared to do a lot of walking, or jogging.

For high energy dogs, you might consider biking or roller blading as alternatives to just ordinary walking. You do want to make sure that your dog is good on a leash before you try these alternatives, otherwise, you could put both of you in a dangerous situation. There are special accessories for your bike that you can use to hold the leash, while stopping the dog from crossing your path and getting hurt. And if you roller blade, make sure you get a leash that is easy to hold on to.

Another option is swimming. Dogs and humans can get a lot of exercise from swimming. This might be a good choice for older dogs that need to give their muscles a little bit of a rest or as an alternative in warm environments. Not all dogs take to the water well. A friend of mine had a Great Dane who wouldn’t get in the water no matter what, but you couldn’t get her Saint Bernard out of any pool, fountain, or puddle it found. This is obviously doable if you have your own pool, or if you are lucky enough to live in an area with a public dog pool or a lake where dog swimming is allowed.

You can also use dog parks and games, such as fetch, to help exercise your dog. However, you don’t want to rely solely on these methods. Exercise time can be a good time to exert your role as the leader and to exercise your dog’s mind as well as his or her body.



If you have a high energy dog, you may also be able to use a treadmill in your home to help them relieve that energy. You’ll need to help your dog feel comfortable using the exercise equipment first. Once your dog is comfortable he or she will enjoy using the treadmill. It can be a good alternative when you are short on time or when the weather outside is too hot for safe exercising.

Tips for Exercising

First, you have to think about your dog when you are determining the right type of exercise for him or her. A small dog still needs to exercise, but it won’t require as much to drain his energy. A short jog might be sufficient. If you have larger dogs, they may need to exercise more but many of these big breeds get tired pretty quickly, too. Just remember to pay attention to your dog and listen to them when they say they’ve had enough.

Second, make sure your dog stays well-hydrated. In the heat, dogs can get overheated pretty quickly. Always have fresh, cool water available for your dog during or right after exercise. If your dog does get a little overheated, bring out the hose and wet them down. The cool water on their bodies, especially their paws, can help them cool down quickly.

You should also avoid feeding your dog 30 minutes before and 30 minutes after exercise to prevent vomiting or nausea.