Exercise is an important part of keeping your pet happy and healthy. Exercising with your dog will not only be beneficial for them physically and mentally but also emotionally as it gives them time to play and bond with you.
Exercising with your dog can be as simple as going for a walk or playing fetch or more complicated like bike riding or agility sessions. No matter what exercise you choose you need to make sure that you and your dog are prepared before you start. Here are some tips to consider before and during your doggy exercise sessions.
- Before you start exercising your dog, make sure that they are physically fit enough and capable to partake in the activities you have planned.
- Ensure you have the right equipment, like a correctly fitting and suitable collar or halter and lead, any toys you may need, treats if needed, a water bowl and water (if going for a long time or in hot weather).
- Consider your dog’s breed before exercising. Some breeds can tolerate lengthy periods of exercise when others are suited more to short bursts. Breeds with flat or short noses (brachycephalic breeds) can have difficulty breathing during exercise especially in hot weather.
- Make sure that where you are taking your dog to exercise is dog friendly. At some parks, bushlands and beaches dogs are not allowed. Consider the terrain of the area and if any other dogs are going to be around or an issue for your dog.
- Start your exercise regime at a level that suits your pet, you can gradually build up the intensity and length of the exercise as your dog’s fitness levels increase.
- Make exercising fun for your dog, talk to them nicely and praise them for doing the right thing.
- Give your dog a quick check when you get home to make sure they have no cuts or scrapes, particularly on their feet.
Originally published in My Pet Magazine Spring 2015.
To view all issues of My Pet Magazine click here.