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Doggy Workouts Keeping Fido Fit
November 20, 2023

Is your canine buddy a very active and energetic pup? Or is Fido more of a couch potato, who is more interested in chasing Zs than chasing rabbits? No matter what end of that spectrum your furry pal falls on, it’s important for him to stay fit and active. A local Weld County, CO vet offers some insight on that below.

Offer A Custom Workout

Our canine friends come in all sizes and colors. Fido’s exercise regimen should be based on his age, size, health, and, of course, his personal tastes. Swimming is a great cardio workout, but it isn’t a good option for a pup that is frightened of the water! Breed also comes into play here. A Greyhound may love going for a jog with his human, while a Pomeranian may get quite a good workout in just playing Fetch in the living room. Do some breed-specific research, and ask your vet for recommendations.

Always Put Safety First

Not all activities are safe or suitable for every dog. Some dogs—particularly large breeds— should not be encouraged to jump or ‘stand’ on their hind legs much. This puts a lot of strain on their joints, and can exacerbate certain issues, such as hip dysplasia. For other pups, even running can be dangerous. For instance, brachycephalic dogs are at risk of losing their breath even after a short jog, because of their short airways. And while swimming may be great fun for a Labrador Retriever, it could be extremely dangerous for a tiny Chihuahua. Fido’s exercise needs and/or restrictions will also change over time. 

Have Fun With It

Don’t think of exercising Fido as a chore: it’s good for you, too!  In fact, people with canine companions are generally less likely to become obese than people who don’t have pooches. Taking your furry friend on a walk through a pretty park or tossing a ball for him in your yard allow you to get outside, get some fresh air, and move around yourself.

Don’t Overdo It

Dogs are extremely loyal and devoted. Fido’s dedication is truly amazing, and is definitely special. However, it can backfire. Some pups will push themselves to the point of exhaustion to please their owners. Watch for signs that your furry friend is getting tired. If your dog starts panting heavily and/or is clearly running out of stream, end the workout and give him some water.

Our Advice on Doggy Workouts Keeping Fido Fit in 2024

What specific exercises or activities are best suited for different dog breeds?

Different dog breeds require tailored exercise plans based on their physical and mental characteristics. For example, high-energy breeds like Greyhounds may enjoy running, while smaller breeds such as Pomeranians can benefit from indoor play like fetch. Swimming offers excellent cardio but isn’t suitable for breeds fearful of water or with physical limitations. Breed-specific research and veterinary advice are essential in determining the most appropriate activities, ensuring they align with the dog’s age, size, and health. It’s crucial to avoid exercises that could harm specific breeds, such as jumping for large dogs prone to joint issues.

How much daily exercise is recommended for dogs of various sizes, ages, and energy levels to maintain optimal health?

The recommended daily exercise for dogs varies by size, age, and energy level. Small breeds may suffice with short walks and indoor play, while larger, high-energy breeds often require over an hour of more intense activity. Puppies and young dogs, full of energy, might need several shorter sessions of play and exercise throughout the day. Senior dogs benefit from gentler, shorter activities tailored to their mobility. Always consider the dog’s health and consult a veterinarian to customize an exercise routine that promotes optimal health without risking injury or overexertion.

What are the signs of overexertion or heat exhaustion in dogs during exercise?

Signs of overexertion or heat exhaustion in dogs include excessive panting, drooling, and apparent fatigue. Dogs may also show disinterest in continuing exercise, seek shade or cooler surfaces, and exhibit signs of confusion or disorientation. In more severe cases, vomiting, diarrhea, or collapse can occur. Immediate steps should be taken to cool the dog down if these symptoms are observed, including moving them to a shaded or air-conditioned area, providing water, and applying cool (not cold) water to their body. Veterinary attention should be sought if symptoms persist or worsen.

What are some creative ways to mentally stimulate dogs during exercise sessions?

Incorporating mental stimulation into a dog’s exercise regimen enhances both their physical and cognitive well-being. Interactive games like hide-and-seek with toys or treats stimulate problem-solving skills. Agility training, which includes navigating obstacle courses, not only exercises the body but also sharpens the mind. Puzzle feeders or toys during playtime encourage critical thinking as dogs figure out how to access rewards. Incorporating training sessions into exercise, teaching new tricks or commands, also provides mental engagement. Such activities keep dogs mentally stimulated, preventing boredom and promoting overall health.

What are some safety precautions pet owners should take when exercising their dogs outdoors?

When exercising dogs outdoors, pet owners should ensure their pets are always on a leash or in a secure, fenced area to prevent them from running into traffic or getting lost. It’s crucial to carry water to keep dogs hydrated, especially on hot days, and to avoid the hottest parts of the day to prevent heat exhaustion. Owners should be aware of their dog’s limits to prevent overexertion and choose terrain that is safe and suitable for their dog’s size and health condition. Additionally, keeping up-to-date with vaccinations and flea/tick prevention is vital for outdoor safety.

Do you have questions about your dog’s health or care? Contact us, your Weld County, CO pet clinic, today!

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