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Exercising regularly is important to stay fit, both physically and mentally. Not only humans need exercise but also dogs. One of their basic needs is enough exercise and one way of keeping them fit and healthy is developing a daily exercise routine. However, the problem is that plenty of owners think that there are not enough activities for their dog. The good news is that there are different ways to exercise your dog! Moreover, you will burn some calories as well since most of these activities are interactive.
How Much Exercise is Enough?
In order for your dogs to stay healthy, they must have at least an hour of exercise every day. Depending on the breed, one to hours is not always enough especially for very active dogs. Say, for example, a Chao Chao prefers to lounge on your sofa for the whole day without doing much exercise while an American Bully will most likely get annoyed if he is not doing anything for a longer period of time. The thing is, not all dogs are the same. And as an owner, you should know your dog the best.
Although there are different ways to exercise your dog, coming up with a perfect exercise routine for him is not easy in the beginning. It requires trial and error. However, it is also a great way for you to get to know your dog better.
If you are having doubts during the process, then just give him the amount of exercise that he wants. Just make sure that he is not getting too much of it.
Importance of Slow Transition to Exercise
Do not rush your dog and make sure to start slowly when introducing a new exercise. Make sure you carefully observe your dog so as to avoid over-exhaustion. Some of the important signs to look out for are frequent stopping, heavy breathing, and bafflement. If you notice your dog is showing some of the symptoms, take a rest and give him plenty of water to rehydrate. If your dog seems very tired, stop or lessen the time for the next session. In case of possible signs of illness, do not hesitate to call your vet.
Always Check the Weather Forecast
If your dog loves outdoor exercises because he gets to see different places and people, make sure to always check the weather. You do not want to go home all wet or burnt from the heat, right? Just a friendly reminder that dogs don’s sweat like humans do. You will only know they are sweating by looking at their paws. This is, according to Sandra Hudson of Canine Rehabilitation and Conditioning Center.
She also said that if the weather is too hot, not only you will get a sunburn, but also your dog. In some cases, dogs with long white hair are more prone to skin cancer.
Take Note of These Weather Tips for Summer
Exercising with your dog during the summertime might compromise you and your dog’s health. Which is why it is important to take note of the following:
- Do not forget to always bring water with you.
- I know you want to dress up your dog but he might get irritated especially during sunny days. Doggo shoes will work fine.
- Dogs’ paws are sensitive. So be careful, otherwise, your dog might be traumatized.
- The majority of dog owners think that they should cut the hair of their buddy during summer. However, it is the other way around. You should let it grow longer as it will keep them cooler.
What are the Best Ways to Exercise Your Dog?
1. Take a Hike with Your Dog.
Hiking does not only burn those calories but it also promotes peace of mind once you witness the beauty of nature. Your dog will love this too because he will get to explore the wonders of the world on a different level compared to a regular walk at the park.
It is important to take note of the transition as hiking is not the same as walking. Hence, you should start with 2-3 hours of hiking especially if it is your dog’s first time to hike. Complicated trails with rough roads are not advisable. Just start with easy ones until your dog gets used to it.
This is probably one of the most popular exercises that you can do with your dog. It is easy and you can do almost anywhere. However, not all dogs will love this exercise as it can be tiring.
If you happen to have a hyper dog and you are planning to go running with him, you can make it more enjoyable with a leash that is hands-free. No matter how eager you are to not bring a leash, it can be unsafe and some places do not allow off-leash running.
Most dog owners who like to take their doggo in a hike do this as a warm-up exercise a few days before hiking.
This is probably the best exercise you and your doggo will enjoy during summer. It is impossible not to have fun under the sun while you splash around with water. But if your dog does not swim well, don’t lose hope. Have him wear a life vest and take him to shallow water until he gets comfortable with it.
If you still think that your dog does not find happiness in the water, then let it be. You cannot force him to do something he does not like. Just think of other exercises that you will both enjoy.
This video shows the proper way of teaching your dog to love swimming.
4. A Game of Fetch
Playing fetch is a simple and fun way to exercise with your doggo. You can do this more often if you have a spacious living room or a huge backyard. And if you have a fetch dog toy or any lightweight toy, you may want to throw it farther for longer exercise time.
Similar to other dog exercises, this game is not for every dog. Some may find this interested, but some dogs need more practice. If you notice that your dog is not having fun, try to give him treats for every successful fetch.
5. Tug of War
A lot of dogs love this game because it is challenging. It is easy, fun, and a great way to exercise your dog. And since this game depends on manners, it can be a great way to improve the impulse control of your dog.
This is the best exercise for most dogs and you can do it without stepping outside your house. However, you need to be extra careful with puppies as they are not masters when it comes to friendly bite.
Consult your vet before engaging your dog in any form of exercise. Also, regardless of the type of dog, watch out for signs of dehydration, fatigue, injury, and illness especially on older dogs.