Big Changes Afoot: New Exercise Programs for Your Dog

liver and white working type english springer spaniel pet gundogThere are few things more gratifying than watching a happy, healthy dog enjoying the great outdoors and human companionship. Indeed, the impact of exercise on your dog’s health and longevity is second to none, but repetitive workouts can grow mundane. To support your existing routine, we’ve got some new exercise programs for your dog that will have both of you moving and smiling!

Health Matters

Besides strengthening bones and muscles, your dog’s workout benefits the cardiovascular system, decreases stress, and promotes sleep. It’s vital that your dog is examined prior to the start of a new routine to ensure he or she is up to the task. Your dog’s breed, age, size, and general health must be considered before establishing your new workout.

Starting Out

Your dog thrives on the predictable nature of routine, so after you begin a regular exercise program for your dog, make sure to keep up with your commitment. If you have to alter your plans due to weather or sickness, try your best to meet your dog’s physical needs and expectations.

If you and your dog are new to physical activity, it’s best to begin slowly. You can build a good foundation with a 15-minute walk every day, and then increase to 60 minutes each day if he or she has enough strength and stamina. Also:

  • Warm ups are key. This will loosen your dog’s joints and muscles and help get his or her blood pumping before you really get going.
  • Exercise programs for your dog should always allow for frequent water breaks, especially in our warm climate.
  • Watch for any signs of fatigue or injury. Prepare yourself with a pet first aid kit.
  • Your dog’s paw pads may start to show soreness or tenderness if your new routine involves rough pavement or concrete. Switch to grass or dirt pathways.

Branching Out

While it’s great to start with walking, you certainly don’t have to stop there. Swimming is a wonderful activity for your pooch, especially if joint stiffness or injury prevents him or her from galloping alongside you.

Graduating to full-fledged jogging or running will be satisfying and healthy for your dog and will increase energy for more strenuous activity. Be sure to keep your dog on his or her leash unless you are exercising in a designated off-leash area.

Looking for additional exercise programs for your dog? Try one of the following ideas:

  • Agility or obstacle course
  • Frisbee
  • Fetch
  • Allow your dog to walk you wherever his or her heart desires
  • Bikejoring
  • Install your own adjustable jump bars
  • Take your dog to a local dog park
  • Obedience training or learn new commands
  • Canine water sports

A+ Exercise Programs for Your Dog

We commend you for trying some new activities with your dog’s wellness and health in mind. Remember to keep a close eye on him or her during your new routines; your dog lives to please you and will push him or herself if you seem pleased. Exercise to your dog’s abilities and comfort level, and you’ll be amazed by his or her progress and satisfaction.

Your friends at Ten West Bird and Animal Hospital wish you the best of luck in your new routine. Please contact us with any questions or concerns.