There are several enjoyable ways to give your dog the exercise he needs.
Combine his walks with a few obedience exercises and finish with a game. But take his fitness level into account. Many dogs are so enthusiastic that they keep on running when they’re already tired, which isn’t healthy for them. Chasing a ball may not be the best form of activity for your dog. Playing hide and seek, a quieter game, may be a good alternative to avoid overstressing his joints. If you suspect that your dog has muscle or joint problems, talk to your veterinarian first.
If you like exercising, you can go for runs or long walks together. Often, unpaved routes are preferable because they may be easier on your dog’s joints. If you still prefer walking or running on hard ground, train your dog to walk along the shoulder. Your dog is smaller than you are, so less visible from the road. At night, have your dog wear a reflective safety vest or object.
Many dogs love to swim, which can be a great way for them to cool off in the hot summer months. After some simple investigating, you may discover some local dog beaches where you can go, or perhaps there’s a swimming pool for dogs in your area. One note of caution: don’t let your dog swim in stagnant water, in case of blue-green algae, which is toxic for dogs. The same holds true for your dog’s water bowl: change the water every day!
Guidelines for all games and exercise:
- Don’t overdo it; exercise in moderation
- Gradually develop your dog’s physical fitness level
- Afterwards, give him a moderate amount of cool, fresh drinking water
- Consistent daily exercise is better than intensive “weekend warrior” exercise
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