Exercising with your dog



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Exercise is vital to keep your dog in tiptop shape. Dogs are also keen on routine and it’s difficult to avoid the disappointing look when a walk is not forthcoming.

If your dog is not fit, begin the new program slowly and work your dog’s fitness level gradually. The loyal dog will never say no which means it’s your responsibility to monitor the level of exercise your dog is suited to. For overweight dogs, older dogs and puppies, the fitness program should be structured to suit their needs. Always consult your veterinarian for advice. A puppy is still developing, so too much vigorous exercise can damage joints and bones. Older dogs will need exercise, so tender walks throughout the cooler parts of the day are ideal.

Be prepared!

Invest in a small carry bag that can be slung over your shoulder or one which clips onto your belt. This means that you can carry plastic bags for picking up poo, a collapsible canvas water bag ideal for longer walks, a whistle or clicker, a couple of tasty (and healthy) dried treats and a ball or toy your dog likes to bring.

A popular exercise routine for many pet owners is to walk their dog on a leash for their local leash-free dog park or beach, or you may need to drive to the place. Some councils are currently outfitting parks with dog agility courses which is great way to work out together and practice training. Contact your local council for a list of leash-free parks locally.

Jogging

Most dogs are not suited to jogging, but in case you have a Kelpie or Border Collie, a fantastic run is 1 way to give them the level of exercise that they need. Fitness should be fun, however, and dogs like to stop and start, sniff the land and mark their odor. By nature they are not inclined to jog consistently so run in bursts and then walk.

Dog’s paws are susceptible and remember that you are the one wearing shoes. Examine the bitumen with your hand and if it’s too hot do not exercise your dog along pathways.

Fun Fitness

Dogs like routine, but walking around the block can become tedious. If you are really keen to get fit with your dog you might want to consider two fun dog sports: agility and flyball. Agility is a succession of obstacles such as hurdles, tunnels and weave poles that the dog learns to negotiate without errors against the clock. The dog that completes the barriers correctly within the time set will achieve a’Clear Round’. The winner is the fastest of those dogs.

Flyball is a sport in which any dog can participate regardless of breed, shape or size. Flyball is a relay race between two competing teams. Each group has four dogs. One from each group (racing side by side) must go over four hurdles, trigger a flyball box pedal, catch (retrieve) a ball and then return over all four hurdles to the star/finish line where another dog eagerly awaits.

Heat exhaustion

Avoid exercising your dog on very hot or humid days. Dogs cool themselves by panting and if panting does not lower the body temperature that the dog will develop heatstroke. Animals suffering from heat exhaustion will pant, lie on their side and be listless and disoriented. If you think your pet is suffering from heat exhaustion it must be cooled promptly. Place the animal in a cool and shady area. Damp it down with tepid water (never ice) and fan the animal. Contact your closest vet but do not transport the animal in a hot car. Only put it in a vehicle that has air conditioning or is airy and cool. Keep the animal damp with cool air playing over its body during the car trip. If the animal is conscious, offer cool, not cold, drinking water. Do not allow the creature to gulp large amounts of water.



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