Your Four-Legged Workout Partner
- Posted in Health & Wellness Tips
Just as it would be hard for you to go out and jog for 45 minutes if you haven’t worked out in 6 months, it’s also hard for your pet. Be sure to get your veterinarian’s okay before beginning your pet’s exercise routine. After you get the go-ahead, here are some tips to help you get started:
- Start slowly, gradually increasing the time and intensity of the activity. This will safely strengthen your pet’s muscles, aerobic capacity, and footpads.
- Pay attention to how your pet is feeling. Signs that your pet needs to slow down or stop include drooling, stumbling, trouble breathing, and a long, droopy tongue. Take a break and consider making tomorrow’s workout shorter. Also remember that in hot weather your pet can’t sweat like you do to keep cool.
- Concrete and asphalt are tough on your friends’ paws–especially on hot days. Try to walk or run on dirt paths (or grass) as much as possible.
- The longer you work out, the more water Fido needs. Bring along a collapsible water dish to help your pet stay hydrated.
- Be realistic about your pet’s limitations. Many smaller breeds love going for a brisk walk, but you’ll probably have to carry them on a strenuous hike. Animals with a thin coat will not tolerate cold weather very well, whereas dogs with thick coats don’t do well in the summer heat.
- You should avoid strenuous exercise with your pet until they are finished growing (after 9-12 months for most dogs).