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How Much Exercise Should Your Dog Be Getting?

 by petbucket on 11 Sep 2015 |
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We're all familiar with the problem dog who constantly craves attention or destroys his or her owner's home through chewing and pawing at everything in sight. We've also all seen the overweight dog who wheezes with the slightest exertion. More likely than not, a lack of exercise is usually to blame for both of these conditions. You see, it's not only we humans who sometimes struggle with our weight. Our dogs too can have size issues which may have grave consequences for their health. Heart-disease, respiratory ailments, diabetes, hip trouble, and a slowed metabolism are all linked to obesity brought on by a lack of daily activity. But just how much and what kind of exercise should your dog be getting?
 
All dogs are different, of course, and thus they have different exercise needs. Puppies and younger dogs need more exercise than older dogs. Regular exercise, for example, can calm a young dog while helping him make sense of his world. But you should also be careful not to work a puppy too strenuously until after his growth plates have closed, usually sometime around its first birthday. Geriatric dogs also need exercise but, likewise, you should limit activity so as not to tire your pet too much or injure his aged body. A dog's lifestyle should also be taken into consideration when deciding on the level of activity. Outdoor dogs may get a good level of exercise from running around outside their owner's home. Indoor dogs, meanwhile, may not be as sedentary as you think, especially if a household contains children who regularly play with the pet.
 
A good general rule is that a dog between the ages of one and six years of age should be getting either a half-hour of strenuous exercise (a run or hike, say) or a full hour of casual activity (for example, a walk around the neighbourhood) on a daily basis. It's important, though, to take your cues from your pet's own behaviour. If your dog is hyperactive, chewing things, barking, and otherwise demanding your attention, for example, it's likely that he needs more exercise. If your dog is content with lying about and isn't overweight or raring to go outside, he may be getting the right amount of exercise already. If, on the other hand, your dog is reluctant to go out or if he dawdles or takes constant rests while out walking, you may be expecting more activity from him than he actually needs.
 
A dog's breed will often determine his exercise requirements. The most needful dogs are the herding, sporting and working breeds. These require a lot of daily activity. An hour to ninety minutes of exercise, plus another half hour of tough activity should be about right. Terriers and toys, with their rather hyperactive nature, often receive a good deal of exercise around the home. In this case a further hour a day of casual activity may suffice. Hounds will need a similar amount, although a few short sprinting sessions over the course of a week may be sufficient for greyhounds and racing varieties. The needs of scent hounds, meanwhile, are more akin to those of working breeds. Short-nosed dogs such as pugs often have trouble with breathing and overheating. With this in mind, owners of these dogs should keep activity casual so as not to strain their pets. It is important to note, though, that these dogs, in common with toys, are particularly prone to obesity. So if your pet's size is increasing, you will want to fit in a bit more daily activity.
 
As for exercising your pet, there are any number of ways to keep things both lively and interesting. A dog enjoys being challenged, so try to steer clear of boring activities. Walks around the neighbourhood are always good for your dog. Not only does your pet get his necessary exercise, but he also gets to keep up with what's going on in his patch, so to speak. That old favourite, playing fetch, is another good activity. Hiding objects and having your pet retrieve them is another exercise which combines physical and mental stimulation. Having your dog jump obstacles is another fun idea. Remember to bring along treats to reward good behaviour when you're out and about. Also bring plenty of water, especially if you are taking your dog on a strenuous hike or if the weather is particularly warm. If it's cold outside, you may want to bring along a doggy sweater or coat, depending on your dog's temperament. Whatever you do, don't allow winter weather to be an excuse not to give your dog the exercise he needs. If you are trapped inside, run stairs or play with toys or teach him tricks -- and make sure you don't fall into the trap of giving your dog treats in lieu of giving him attention if you can't go outside.
 
During activity, panting is a good sign. It means your dog is working up a sweat. Wheezing, on the other hand, may indicate that you're overworking your pet. In that case, take it easy for a while. When you're done your pet should be visibly tired. Back home afterwards, make sure to give your dog plenty of water. It may also be a good time for a bath. Your pet can thus enjoy the coolness of the water and, for your sake, he may be restful enough to allow you to bathe him without too much fuss. Afterwards, why not curl up together and give yourselves a well-deserved rest? Exercising your dog shouldn't be a chore, but rather a way of strengthening your bond with your pet.

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Melissa Holden
Melissa Holden
United States, Corpus Christi
24 Jun 2018
I always receive my products in a timely matter. The automatic shipment is a no brainer. Thank you for your excellent service!
 
 
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