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Are You Exercising Your Dog?

Posted Mar 14 2013 1:18pm 1 Comment

ExercicingYour dog needs exercise for many of the same reasons that humans need exercise. Keep in mind that most dog breeds were bred for work, not to sit around all day waiting for their owner to come home from work, which is exactly what many pets do. 


The Effects of Regular Exercise

Benefits of regular exercise for dogs include the fact that they will be calmer and more relaxed as a result of the physical activity. They will also be less likely to indulge in destructive behavior like ripping up furniture or tipping over trashcans. Pet obesity is another common problem that regular exercise can solve. Dogs that are obese have issues handling heat, and are more likely to develop joint problems; they are also more likely to develop diabetes and have a greater risk of complications should they ever need surgery.  Exercising your dog can even help it to be more confident and willing to trust people. 


Important Tips for Exercising Your Dog

Not only is exercise important, but you should also make sure that your pet gets the right kind of exercise, meaning something that will benefit them without causing harm. As beneficial as exercise usually is, it should be done with care and in moderation.You will want to ensure that you avoid activities that can cause injury to your dog; this includes popular types of play that involve them leaping up and coming down on their hind legs. While many dog owners do this, many also win up injuring their dogs as they can fall awkwardly. Playing fetch is fine as long as you keep the throws low so that the dog is not tempted to leap for the ball or Frisbee.It is not necessary for you to walk your dog for great distances either. Just as with humans who are starting an exercise program, it is important for you to check with your veterinarian to see if your dog has any health issues that could be exacerbated by an exercise regimen. 


The Danger of Heat Stroke


Another important factor to keep in mind when exercising your dog is that they are very vulnerable to heat stroke. Breeds that have long coats or short muzzles are even more vulnerable than breeds without these characteristics. Something else that can heighten the risk of heat stroke is the color of the dog’s coat. Dogs with black coats are more likely to suffer from the heat than those with lighter-colored coats. 


Choosing Exercises For Your Dog

When choosing exercises for your dog, keep your dog’s breed in mind. For example, breeds like greyhounds are termed “sighthounds” for their ability to track prey by sight not scent like other types of hounds. These dogs are bred for speed and short sprints, not long, extended runs. Also, short-legged breeds like Corgis, do not need as much walking as dogs with longer legs. Note that a dog by itself will not get sufficient exercise just by keeping it outside. Either it will need another dog to play with or you will have to play with it. 

One of the many benefits of exercising your dog is that you will get some exercise as well; in fact, this could be considered an excellent reason for adopting a pet. Exercise will allow you and your pet to bond and have fun and can also provide you both with years of good health.



About The Author:

Roger Harris is the Pharmaceutical Director at Compoundia Pharmacy, a leading compound pharmacy in Westlake Village, California. The company specializes in custom compounding, including sterile injectables for veterinary use


Comments (1)
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We're lucky enough to have a fenced-in yard, so we can throw sticks and tennis balls for the dogs.  When we didn't have a fence, they went to a nearby dog park often.  Now that the weather is cooling off a tiny bit in Atlanta, I'm hoping we can take them for long walks on the weekend.
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