Dogs are creatures that need to be active often. Expending energy is the best way for them to maintain the best health possible. Exercise is vital to their healthy weight management, disease prevention, mental stimulation, and more.
I have heard it said often, and any dog lover knows that a well exercised dog is a happy dog. And a tired dog is a good dog.
If you are wondering how you can best keep your dog active, look no further! We are going to chat here about how you can keep your dog healthy with these exercise tips!
Table of Contents
- 1 Keep Your Dog Healthy With These Exercise Tips
- 1.1 What types of dogs need the most exercise?
- 1.2 What age dogs need the most exercise?
- 1.3 These tips will help you incorporate more exercise into your dog’s life
- 1.3.1 Always keep a leash on hand
- 1.3.3 Start out gently
- 1.3.4 Join in
- 1.3.5 Head to the dog park
- 1.3.6 Take your dog to daycare
- 1.3.7 Schedule it
- 1.3.8 Use safe toys for activity time
- 1.3.9 Choose the right surfaces
- 1.3.10 Make sure to monitor your dog to avoid injury
- 1.3.11 Head to the vet
- 1.3.12 Mix up your exercises
- 1.3.13 Feed your dog a healthy diet
- 1.3.14 Make sure your dog stays well hydrated
Keep Your Dog Healthy With These Exercise Tips
Before starting an exercise routine with your dog, it is important to get the answers to a couple of questions. These answers will help you to determine the activity levels that your dog should have.
What types of dogs need the most exercise?
When trying to decide how to work exercise into your dog’s life, you need to first consider what kind of dog that you have. Many people mistakenly believe that the bigger the dog breed is, the more exercise they need.
That is simply not true. Different dog breeds have different exercise needs. A little bit of research can go far into determining what kind of activities and how much is right for your dog.
What age dogs need the most exercise?
Alternatively, the age of your dog makes a big difference in activity needs as well. Many people often think of puppies having endless energy and needing more exercise when this is not always the case.
Many times puppies need less exercise than a bigger dog. They are very busy growing and need to allow their bodies time to rest and catch up!
These tips will help you incorporate more exercise into your dog’s life
Always keep a leash on hand
It’s always a good idea to have multiple leashes for your dog. I recommend keeping at least one at home and one in your vehicle (if your dog rides in the car with you). That way you and your pup can head out for a walk at a moment’s notice. I love this simple nylon leash or this slip leash in the event that you don’t have a collar on your dog.
Start out gently
If you have a puppy, or if your dog simply isn’t currently exercised much, you don’t want to overdo it. Start an exercise routine gently with shorter walks or short bursts of playtime.
Whether you are going for a walk with your dog, playing Frisbee, playing fetch, or getting down on the floor to have some fun with him, joining in on your pet’s exercise is a great idea. Not only will you be able to make sure that your dog is getting exercise, but you will be too! Plus, much needed bonding time happens when you join in these activities too.
Head to the dog park
Dog parks can be a good place to take your dog. But it’s important to assess the park and dogs at the park before you let your dog go in and play. Some dog owners don’t monitor their dogs to ensure they are playing nicely. Some dogs don’t do well in unstructured settings like this.
Rainey does great in the dog park and is just a social butterfly. However, Dylan has never had a good experience. He gets nervous when surrounded with groups of strange dogs. But it can be refreshing to have an open space to take your pup to where they can run and burn off energy, while socializing with other dogs at the same time!
Take your dog to daycare
Doggy daycare is one of my favorite places to take the pups when they need to socialize and burn some extra energy. Or, let’s face it, if they are driving me nuts and I need a little break. It’s so refreshing to have a safe place where I can drop off the dogs and know that they are playing but in a structured way. A good daycare will put dogs in smaller groups with matched playing styles.
So, it’s great. Rainey gets to be her crazy self and play with any group. Meanwhile, Dylan can play within a smaller group. Scheduling a daycare trip even a couple of times per month is a great way to keep your dog healthy and active.
You probably schedule exercise into your own routine, am I right? You should do the same thing with your dog. If you have the time set aside for it, you are more likely to follow through and make it happen. Additionally, routines are good for dogs!
Use safe toys for activity time
Many people incorporate dog toys into their activity routine which is great! Playing with toys is very enjoyable for dogs, but be sure to use the right kind of toys. You need to make sure that the toys you choose are safe and not harmful to your dogs.
For example, playing fetch with sticks can cause your dog to get splinters and intestinal upset from swallowing the wooden pieces, so instead use something like these wool balls for fetch instead.
Choose the right surfaces
If your dog is new to exercise, don’t just head out to the sidewalk and go for a long walk. Their paws are going to be sensitive to the hard surface. It’s better to get them started on dirt or grass.
Make sure to monitor your dog to avoid injury
Last summer Dylan gave himself heatstroke while playing with the lawn sprinkler. It then ended up with him getting hotspots and gastrointestinal issues. And off to the vet he went. I assumed because he was playing in water, he would be okay even though it was hot outside. You wouldn’t think that it would be possible, but indeed it happened.
So, we learned a valuable lesson, that you really need to monitor your dog. And if the weather is really hot (or cold) you need to watch to make sure they don’t overexert themselves. And if it’s too cold outside, don’t let your dog stay outside for too long, as they can get frostbite.
Head to the vet
Everything we know tells us to visit our doctor before starting a new exercise program. The same goes for your pet. It’s a good idea to take them to the vet to get a complete physical to make sure they are healthy enough for the exercise you have chosen. Also, if you have a puppy, the vet will tell you the right exercises and how long to exercise for. A good vet will have lots of good exercise tips to help your dog stay healthy.
Mix up your exercises
If you take the same walk each and every day, your dog will get bored. Go for a variety of different walks, mix up your normal route by going down different streets. Or reverse the route you normally take. Or even, hop in the car to go explore a new area. Giving your dog a variety of activities will keep your dog engaged with his exercises.
Feed your dog a healthy diet
A healthy diet is imperative to maintaining a healthy and active dog. If they are eating too much, it will be difficult for them to maintain the activity levels needed. If they are eating foods that aren’t nutritionally beneficial to them, it will be difficult for them to maintain enough energy to exercise to optimal health.
Make sure your dog stays well hydrated
Just like with humans, hydration is imperative for optimal dog health. Make sure your dog always has clean filtered water to drink, even if you are on the road. Keep a portable dog dish ready for wherever your pup needs a drink.
Do you maintain an exercise routine with your dog? What exercise tips would you share to keep your dog healthy?
Do you want to incorporate more activity into your dog’s life? What questions do you have for doing this?